Eleven suspected al-Shabab fighters have been killed in a firefight outside a military camp in southeastern Kenya’s Lamu County, military officials said
Military spokesman Colonel David Obonyo said the attack took place early on Sunday morning in the town of Baure, close to the Somali border.
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“The attack was repulsed. During the firefight, 11 al-Shabab terrorists including two fighters of Caucasian origin were neutralised. Several others fled with injuries towards the forest and hot pursuit is currently under way,” he said.
“Regrettably, the Kenya defence forces … lost two soldiers during the firefight. We appeal to the locals in the area to report to the security agencies anybody seeking medical assistance or any suspicious-looking individuals who might attempt to hide in the area.”
The Somalia-based armed group has carried out several attacks in Kenya in retaliation over the country’s military involvement in Somalia.
Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi, reporting from the Lamu County town of Mpeketoni, said the fighters went to another town in the area before the attack, where they preached at a mosque for about an hour, condemning Kenyan forces for their presence in Somalia.
“People here are very concerned, although things have been quiet here in the last year in Mpeketoni with regular security patrols. People think the government should do more,” she said.
“People also worry that some of the attackers have been Kenyans. They say al-Shabab sells in the country.”
The armed group carried out its deadliest attack in Kenya earlier this year, when its fighters massacred 148 people in a day-long siege of a university in Garissa.
The attack on the university was the deadliest on Kenyan soil since the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi, which killed more than 200 people.
After the Garissa attack, al-Shabab warned of a “long, gruesome war” unless Kenya withdraws its troops from Somalia, as well as warning the government in Mogadishu it would continue to attack them on home soil.