Armed gunmen shot dead two Kenyan police officers in northern town of Garissa near the border with Somalia in the latest attack on security officers in the restive region.
Regional police commander, Phillip Tuimur, said the policemen were going on night patrol at a local school when they were ambushed by the armed gunmen and their G3 rifles and 40 rounds of ammunition were stolen.
“The two Administration Police officers whose names we cannot reveal for now were on their way to NEP Technical College for a patrol but upon reaching the school, they were ambushed by a group of unknown people who shot them dead at 8:15 p.m. before disappearing with their G3 rifles,” Tuimur told Xinhua by telephone.
The regional police commander however said it was too early to blame Al-Shabaab for the latest attack which came hours after a child was killed and 12 others injured in a grenade attack on a church in Nairobi.
“It’s still too early to speculate but we have started investigations into the police and more reinforcements have been sent to the area,” he said.
No suspect has been arrested in connection with the church attack which occurred early on Sunday but police have launched a major crackdown to apprehend those behind the heinous acts.
Security officers have been deployed in Eastleigh residential estate where the attack took place after area residents threatened to attack members of the Somali community residing in the areas for targeting Christian churches.
The Nairobi and Garissa incidents are the first since terror group Al-Shabaab was ejected from their stronghold of Kismayo by Kenya Defense Forces and Somalia National Army early on Friday.
The church attack sent panic among worshippers in Kenya’s capital Nairobi after word spread that terrorists had hurled an explosive device inside a Sunday school at an Anglican church near Eastleigh on the east of the city.
The terror attack is the first one targeting mainly children at a church in Kenya. Majority of churches around the capital had services in progress when the blast occurred shortly after 10.30 a. m.
Both incidents also came after Al-Shabaab spokesman Mohammed Rage warned on Saturday that the insurgents who have been pushed out the port of Kismayo would fight to the end.
Rage said the al-Qaida-allied group was still in the outskirts of Kismayo which will remain a battle zone.
The incident in northern Kenya is likely to cause panic among the residents of Garissa which has enjoyed relative calm since the last church incident attack in July that claimed the lives of 20 people.
Tuimur said more border patrol will be intensified along the Kenya-Somalia border in Kiunga and Dadaad refugee camps to prevent the al-Qaida-linked insurgents who are fleeing Kismayo from entering into the country.