Al Shabab attacks village in Kenya

Northeastern Kenyan county of Garissa attacked by al-Shabab on Friday

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Al Shabab has attacked Garissa village in northeastern Kenya, the country’s ministry of interior told Reuters on Friday.

A ministry statement said the militants entered Yumbis village, 70 km north of Garissa town, on Thursday evening.

"Security forces swiftly mobilized and engaged the militants in a gun battle. No casualties were reported," the ministry added.

The Somalia-based al-Shabab group, which has carried out frequent attacks in Kenya in recent years to try to force Nairobi to pull its troops out of Somalia, struck Garissa University College university in the same area last month killing 148 people.

The Kenyan government had threatened to close the world’s largest refugee camp to date, located in the town of Dadaab, and send around 350,000 refugees back to Somalia.

According to the Washington Post, Kenyan officials view the camp as a national security threat for Kenya, including terrorist groups such as al-Shabab.

Both Washington and the United Nations have said they are concerned about Nairobi's decision to close the camp in a bid to stem militant attacks.

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Kenya following the killing of 148 people by al-Shabab militants in an attack on the university in Garissa in April, located in northern Kenya.

"We will be looking at additional ways that we may be able to support Kenyan efforts to fight al-Shabab," the US Secretary of state officials told Reuters, without giving details.

Al-Shabab has been classified as a terrorist groups by the United States since 2008, and has launched high profile attacks since then, including successful attacks on UN vehicles and the Education Ministry of Somalia. 

Al Shabab had also killed Abdifatah Barre, the deputy district commissioner of Mogadishu’s Wadajir district, in Mogadishu earlier in May, before bombing an African Union troop convoy outside the capital.

Kenya's northern and eastern regions, which are near the Somali border, have suffered many attacks blamed on the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab group, which has vowed retribution on Kenya for sending troops into Somalia to fight the militants. Kenya sent its troops there in 2011 to fight Al Shabab militants following cross-border attacks.

In March, Al Shabab claimed responsibility for attacks in the county of Mandera on the Somali border in which 12 people died. Four of them died in an attack on the convoy of Mandera County Governor Ali Roba.

Police statistics show that 312 people have been killed in Al Shabab attacks in Kenya from 2012 to 2014. Thirty-eight people were killed and 149 wounded in Garissa in the same period.

TRTWorld and agencies