Four civilians killed in suspected Islamist attack in Kenya

Four civilians including a child were shot dead today as suspected Al-Shabaab Islamists attempted to attack a telecommunications mast in eastern Kenya near the Somali border, police said.

Two of the attackers were also killed by police.

Kenya is on high alert after the Al-Qaeda linked group on Sunday stormed onto a US military base in the coastal Lamu region, destroying several aircraft and killing three American citizens.

Three Kenyans were arrested later Sunday for allegedly trying to force their way into a British military camp in central Kenya, although the British army later said in a statement they did not believe there was a “direct threat”.

Police spokesman Charles Owino said that more than 10 attackers had attempted to destroy the mast on Tuesday morning, two of whom were shot dead.

A separate police statement said the attack took place in the town of Saretho, 25 kilometres from the Dadaab Refugee Camp—where Al-Shabaab has been found to be operating in the past.

“The criminal gang had targeted the nearby communication mast and in the process four innocent lives were lost, including that of a teacher and small child,” read the statement.

Police said two AK47 assault rifles, materials to make improvised explosive devices and other “crude weapons” were discovered.