At least one National Police Reservist (NPR) was killed and another injured in a clash between Kenya security agencies and Al-Shabaab militants in Dawaduba, Fino in Mandera County.
Police said one Al-Shabaab militant was also killed in the multi-agency operation that was aimed at flushing out the gang from their hideout within Kenya.
North Eastern Regional Commissioner Mohamed Birik said they recovered a rifle with bullets from the slain man.
“We believe many others escaped with bullet wounds and the operation is ongoing. They had bad intentions in the area,” said Birik.
The gang had crossed camped inside Kenya when the agencies got news of their presence and moved there in an operation. The fighting went into Monday midnight amid fears of more casualties. Local security says the operation is still on.
Fino is about six kilometres away from the main Kenya-Somalia border. The area has been facing a number of attacks from the militants who targeted communication masts destroying them.
Birik said they are determined to pacify the area and clear it of the militants. It came a day to the end of Ramadhan amid fears the militants planned an attack at the end of the period.
Last year in March, the gang attacked a police station in the area and killed five police officers.
Last month, the militants attacked Hareri hosle village near Mandera town and stole food and other items.
On Saturday, a team of police officers escaped death narrowly after a landmine that had been set on the road went off but missed their vehicle. The team was escorting buses on the Mandera-Rhamu-Elwak road. Officials said the Improvised Explosive Devise had been planted on the road and timed to hit the police vehicle.
It is suspected some locals were aware of the plans and police with local leaders are investigating it.
The area has experienced a lull of attacks since the beginning of Ramadhan due to heavy security presence. Operations have been intensified since two Cuban doctors were abducted from Mandera Town by gunmen who killed their security guard. The doctors are still being inside Mandera amid reports officials are negotiating with those holding them for their release and a ransom had been demanded.
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