Suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen shot dead a woman and injured three others in Kenya’s northeastern Mandera County near the border with Somalia on Friday evening, officials said.
Deputy County Commissioner for Lafey town, Erick Ornyi, said the woman was traveling in a private vehicle along with two other passengers and a driver when the ambush took place at around 7:30 p.m. local time.
Ornyi said the gunmen, who numbered around 20, appeared from a bush and shot indiscriminately.
“The gunmen targeted passengers traveling from Mandera town to attend a burial in Lafey town,” Ornyi said.
He said the attackers took personal effects from the passengers and then disappeared to neighbouring Somalia. Security officers have been deployed to the scene. The three who suffered gunshot wounds are being treated at a local hospital.
The gunmen are believed to be from Somalia’s Islamist group Al-Shabaab, which has carried out a series of attacks in Kenya in recent years.
The attack happened hours after Al-Shabaab militants raided a police station in neighbouring Wajir county near the Somali border, injuring an officer and two civilians, and taking over 15 firearms and several rounds of ammunition.
Security authorities have asked vehicles to use the Rhamu-Wajir route instead of the Lafey-Wajir Road to keep away from the Somali border amid rising Al-Shabaab threats.
Meanwhile, some Nairobi-bound commuter buses in north-eastern Kenya, which borders Somalia, have closed travels for the past one week citing security concerns.
The Lafey-Wajir Road was closed down in December 2014 after Al-Shabaab militants killed over 28 people, mostly teachers travelling in a bus to the capital Nairobi.