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Gunmen kill Kenyan policeman in ambush: police

  • Police officers stand guard at Kipao village following a fresh attack at the village in Tana River district in Kenya's coastal Tana Delta region, December 22, 2012. eREUTERS/Joseph Okanga

NAIROBI: Suspected Islamists shot dead a Kenyan policeman in an ambush in the restive northeastern border town of Mandera, the latest in a string of attacks near the border with Somalia, police said Friday.

"The officer was on patrol when the gunmen opened fire on him and fled," a senior police officer in the region told AFP. The attack happened on Thursday night.

"There were four attackers. We suspect they are Shebab Islamists who have been attacking security officers," he added.

"They also took away his rifle but his colleague escaped unhurt."

Regional police chief Philip Tuimur confirmed the incident, saying the police were looking for the attackers but that no arrests had been made.

Similar attacks and cross-border raids in the region have been blamed on Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents or their Kenyan supporters, who vowed revenge after Nairobi invaded Somalia last year.

The Shebab still control large parts of southern Somalia, despite African Union troops, allied Somali forces and Ethiopian soldiers having wrested control of several key towns from them.

 
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