UPDATE 2-Kenyan forces, al Shabaab rebels clash on border

Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:33pm GMT

* One Kenyan officer wounded in ambush

* Al Shabaab controls much of territory across border

(Adds quotes, details)

By Noor Ali

ISIOLO, Kenya, July 20 (Reuters) - Kenyan security forces clashed along the border on Tuesday with gunmen from the Somali rebel group that was behind deadly suicide bombings in Uganda this month, an official and residents said.

Both Kenya and Somalia's al Shabaab militia were reported to be sending reinforcements to the area, although similar border skirmishes in the past have not escalated into wider fighting.

Wilson Murungi, commissioner of the Kenyan border district of Lagdera, said al Shabaab gunmen ambushed a Kenyan border patrol and wounded one officer. He said a team had been sent to beef up security and investigate the incident.

"The attack was not a raid inside (Kenya). Our officers were attacked as they conducted a normal patrol. The militias fired at them on the other side of the border," Murungi told Reuters.

Residents near the Liboi border post in Kenya said there was a fierce exchange of fire between the two sides.   Continued...

Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.