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Fri Sep 30 17:13:31 SAST 2016

Shabaab militants storm Kenya police post

AFP | 22 September, 2016 13:54

Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Islamist gunmen launched an overnight attack on a police camp in Kenya's north-east, close to the Somali border, police and militants said Thursday.

"Over 50 terrorists attacked the police patrol base in two Land Cruisers but the officers in the camp managed to repulse them amid a fierce exchange of fire," Kenya police spokesman George Kinoti said in a statement.

The raid on the police post in the town of Liboi began shortly after midnight.

Kinoti said the attackers were initially repulsed but "later returned in a bigger number".

He said one police officer who suffered gunshot wounds was airlifted to a hospital in the capital Nairobi, while three others who sustained light injuries were being treated in nearby Dadaab.

The Shabaab, an al-Qaeda linked militant group headquartered in Somalia, claimed the attack which coincided with the third anniversary of the assault on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall in which at least 67 people were killed.

In a statement, the Shabaab claimed it had killed at least six police officers, seized weapons and vehicles, and abducted two officers.

Kinoti said all officers had been accounted for "except two".

Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, Somalia, but also carries out regular deadly attacks in Kenya, including in April 2015 when gunmen killed 148 people, mostly students, at a university in Garissa town.

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