NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 7 – At least 14 people were killed in an Al Shabaab attack in Mandera on Tuesday morning, police said.
“The attack occurred at a village near a large livestock market just outside the town,” a senior police officer said on telephone from Mandera, “14 people are dead.”
“People were sleeping when the attack happened. They just came and hurled explosives in the houses,” Mandera County Commissioner Alex Ole Nkoyo said of the attack that occurred at 2 am.
He said the area is largely inhabited by quarry workers, mainly non indigenous people.
“These were Al Shabaab from the natrure of the attack. They used explosives and guns,” Nkoyo said.
Police headquarters in Nairobi said it was yet to receive a detailed report of the attack before issuing a statement.
“We will give you the information once we have it,” Police Spokesman George Kinoti said.
The Kenya Red Cross said it had taken 11 wounded to hospital, and had sent a medical airplane to evacuate the critically injured to the capital Nairobi.
Under pressure in Somalia where it has for years been fighting to overthrow the Western-backed government, the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab is now increasingly targeting Kenya.
The Islamic militants have stepped up their attacks during Islam’s holy fasting month of Ramadan.
In the group’s deadliest attack to date, four gunmen killed 148 people, mostly students, at a university in the Kenyan town of Garissa in early April.
In 2013, four Shebab gunmen killed at least 67 people in an assault on the Westgate mall in the capital Nairobi.