May 31, 2017 / 2:05 PM / 2 years ago

Roadside bomb targeting police kills five in Kenya's north coast

MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - Four police officers and a civilian were killed on Wednesday and two more police are missing after their truck hit a landmine on a road along Kenya’s northern coast, a police report said.

The vehicle was heading towards Mokowe, near the popular island resort of Lamu, according to the report, filed at Kiunga police station in Lamu.

“KDF (Kenya Defence Forces) officers responded and when they reached the scene they found four bodies in uniform and another body in civilian clothes,” the report said.

Two more officers who were riding in the truck have not been accounted for.

The commissioner for the Coast region, Nelson Marwa, said he was aware of the attack but did not have details. Police were unavailable for comment.

Last week, three roadside bombs killed 11 police officers in attacks along Kenya’s long northeastern border with Somalia. Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for all three attacks.

Al Shabaab, which has launched devastating attacks on civilians in Kenya, says it is fighting because Kenya sent troops into Somalia in 2011 after a string of attacks and kidnappings on Kenyan soil. The Kenyan soldiers are there as part of a 22,000-strong peacekeeping force intended to shore up the weak U.N.-backed government.

Somalia has been riven by civil war since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator then turned on each other.

Additional reporting by Humphrey Malalo in Nairobi; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Catherine Evans

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