New al-Shabab attack in Kenya kills four

NAIROBI, KENYA (AP) — Stray bullets killed four civilians, including a small child, during an al-Shabab attack in Kenya, authorities said yesterday.

A Kenyan national police statement said the attackers targetted a telecommunications mast in eastern Garissa county near the border with Somalia. Police officers on patrol killed two of the attackers in the early morning assault, the statement said. A teacher was among the dead.

Deputy County Commissioner Kibet Bowen said all four civilians were killed by stray bullets in the fighting.

Kenyan police said bomb-making materials were seized after the attack near the village of Saretho. Al-Shabab since last December has increased attacks inside Kenya including last Sunday’s attack on a military base that killed three United States (US) military personnel and destroyed five US aircraft.

It was the first time al-Shabab had attacked US troops inside Kenya.

The US on Monday said additional troops had arrived to increase security at the Manda Bay airfield in coastal Lamu county.

The US Africa Command also said it did not assess that the attack was linked to Iran, as Middle East tensions are soaring. Al-Shabab is linked to al-Qaeda and has no known links to Iran or its proxies.

Al-Shabab has vowed retribution on Kenya for deploying its troops in 2011 to fight the extremists in neighbouring Somalia, where the group is based.