Two policemen killed in NE Kenya ambush: Red Cross

Two policemen killed in northeast Kenya ambush: Red Cross

Nairobi (AFP) - Gunmen killed two Kenyan policemen and wounded two others on Sunday, the Red Cross said, the latest in a string of killings in the troubled far northeast of the country.

"Two police officers killed and two others injured in an ambush along Lafey-Elwak road, Mandera county," the Kenya Red Cross said in a statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsiblity, but the Somali-led Shebab have carried out a series of bombings and killings in Kenya, especially in Mandera district, which borders Somalia.

The Shebab, East Africa's long-time Al-Qaeda branch, is headquartered in Somalia where it is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, which is protected by 22,000 African Union troops, including Kenyan soldiers.

But they have also staged attacks in Kenya, including the killing of at least 67 people at Nairobi's Westgate Mall in 2013 and the massacre of 148 people at a university in Garissa in April.

Earlier this week, Kenyan police warned of the risk of fresh attacks by Shebab insurgents, claiming they had split into rival factions inside Kenya, with some shifting allegiance from Al-Qaeda to Islamic State.

Those now loyal to IS operate in the Mandera region, while the Al-Qaeda force is based in the southeastern Boni Forest district, police said.

The attack on Sunday is in a similar area to an ambush last Monday, when Shebab gunmen opened fire on a bus, killing two people at Elwak.

On Saturday, police said a suspected Shebab fighter was killed nearby when a homemade roadside bomb he was planting exploded.

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