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Al Shabaab hurled explosives in houses as people slept, killing 14

07 July 2015, 09:58

Mandera - At least 14 people were killed Tuesday when suspected Al Shabaab militants raided Mandera town, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but officials blamed Somali-led Al Shabaab militants who have carried out a string of attacks in the region, highlighting the insecurity that plagues parts of the country.

The Tuesday morning raid comes a little more than two weeks before US President Barack Obama is due to make his first visit to Kenya, where his father was born, since taking office.

The attack occurred at an area called Soko Mbuzi, a livestock market just outside the town of Mandera in the far northeastern region, bordering Somalia and Ethiopia.

"People were sleeping when the attack happened, they just came and hurled explosives in the houses," said Mandera County Commissioner Alex Ole Nkoyo, confirming 14 people had been killed in the attack in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Read Also: UoN VC to be grilled over reports that students are on Al Shabaab payroll

"These were Al Shabaab from the nature of the attack. They used explosives and guns," he said.

Nkoyo said those attacked mainly worked in a nearby quarry.

Police chief, Joseph Boinnet also blamed Al Shabaab for the attack. "I can confirm an Al Shabaab attack in Mandera early this morning," he said on Twitter.

Kenya Red Cross said it had taken 11 wounded to hospital, and had sent a medical aeroplane to evacuate the critically injured to Nairobi.

Under pressure in Somalia where it has for years been fighting to overthrow the Western-backed government, the Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab is now increasingly targeting Kenya.

The militants have stepped up their attacks during Islam's holy fasting month of Ramadan.

In the group's deadliest attack to date, four gunmen killed 148 people, mostly students, at Garissa university college early April.

In late 2014, they carried out two attacks on a bus and a quarry close to the town of Mandera, killing at least 62 non-Muslims after separating people according to religion.

In 2013, four Al Shabaab gunmen killed at least 67 people in an assault on the Westgate mall in Nairobi.

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