ISIOLO, Kenya (Reuters) - Several people were feared killed in an attack on a vehicle in northeastern Kenya on Thursday, residents and local media said.
“We have received a report of a banditry attack in Mandera District about 110 km (70 miles) from Mandera town involving a vehicle carrying government officials among others,” police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said.
“The District Police Commander and his security team are proceeding to the scene. We shall give details in due course. No information on casualties and other circumstances has been confirmed yet,” he said in a statement.
Mandera is in Kenya’s sparsely populated far northeast, close to the porous borders with Ethiopia and Somalia. Kenyan troops deployed into anarchic Somalia 12 days ago in an offensive against al-Shabaab militants blamed for a series of kidnappings on Kenyan soil and frequent cross-border incursions.
Al Shabaab had warned it would strike back.
Residents in the town of Mandera said they had heard reports that four people had been killed in an attack on a vehicle transporting material for school exams.
“We have just received reports that a grenade was hurled at a government vehicle, which was leaving Lafey and coming here to Mandera,” a teacher at a Mandera school, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters.
Three other Mandera residents told Reuters they had also heard reports of four deaths.
Two grenade attacks in the capital Nairobi on Monday killed one person and wounded more than 20. A Kenyan man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one of the attacks and being a member of al Shabaab, the Somali Islamist group.
Reporting by Noor Ali; Additional reporting by Beatrice Gachenge in Nairobi; Editing by David Clarke and Mark Heinrich