Al Shabaab militants attacked a remote police outpost in northern Kenya and killed an officer days before national elections, police said.
A major attack could undermine the security credentials of President Uhuru Kenyatta standing for a second and final term at elections next Tuesday when the country will also vote for members of parliament and regional authorities.
Attackers hit two vehicles when they fired rocket propelled grenades at the camp in Lafey village near the Somalia border before police repulsed the attack, said Joseph Boinnet, inspector general of police.
“We lost one officer and on the enemy side reason to believe there were some casualties,” Boinnet told a news conference, adding the attackers fled with a government vehicle. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Al Shabaab is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s western-backed government and establish its own rule, based on the group’s strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
The Islamists frequently launch attacks in Kenya in a bid to force the country to withdraw its troops from Somalia. Kenyan troops form part of the African Union-mandated AMISOM peacekeeping force, which defends Somalia’s government.