NAIROBI (Reuters) – Several people were killed on Friday when suspected Islamist militants attacked a bus in Kenya near the border with Somalia, police and local media outlets said.
Stephen Ng’etich, the police commander for Wajir county, told Reuters the bus had been attacked in an area called Kotulo, without providing details of casualties.
“A group of armed men ambushed a bus travelling to northern Kenya this evening … We suspect al Shabaab was involved,” he said, referring to the Islamist militant group from Somalia.
Al Shabaab has targeted Kenya many times since the East African nation sent its troops across the border to fight the militants in their homeland in October 2011.
The local privately-owned Citizen TV channel said that eight people had been killed. Police spokesman Charles Owino said “lives are believed to have been lost”, without giving details.
The Medina Bus Company vehicle was travelling between Wajir and Mandera when it was ambushed at about 5.30 pm local time (1430 GMT), Owino said in a statement.
Ismail Adan, a resident, said those who were killed were ordered out of the bus and shot at close range. Police did not immediately comment on this.
(Reporting by Humphrey Malalo and Noor Ali; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Grant McCool and Alexander Smith)