Suspected Somali militant group's recruiter kills five Kenyan police

Published: July 14, 2016

CnTtxySXgAAQUWEA gunman who had taken hostages inside a police station in western Kenya has been shot dead, security sources have told Al Jazeera.
The siege in Kapenguria began early on Thursday when the attacker, a suspected al-Shabab sympathiser held at the police station, stole a gun and opened fire at officers, leading to a hostage situation.
“We are told that the siege is over,” Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi, reporting from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, said.
“What we are hearing is that the gunman was shot by special forces who were deployed to the Kapenguria police station,” Soi said, adding that the police were expected to release a statement shortly.
Earlier, police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet had said in a statement.that commandos had surrounded the police station in an attempt to bring the stand-off to an end.
“His [the attacker’s] attempts to escape were thwarted by quick arrival by other officers,” Boinnet said.
Boinnet did not give details about casualties, but a police officer, who declined to be named, told the Reuters news agency that at least four officers were killed and that the number could rise.
He said the attacker was suspected of recruiting for the Somali armed group al-Shabab.
Kenya’s Nation news organisation reported that five police officers, including a senior officer, were among the dead, quoting West Pokot County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga.
Kenyan television channel KTN said as many as six officers had died in Kapenguria.
Al Jazeera’s Soi said: “People on the ground that we’ve been talking to say he was a suspected al-Shabab sympathiser [who had] been recruiting young people in the area.
“It’s well known in Kenya that al-Shabab is still very active, recruiting young people in parts of the country, carrying out attacks … but what really stands out about this one is that such an incident hadn’t happened before in western Kenya.”
Al-Shabab has launched a series of attacks against Kenya in recent years, including using local recruits. The group says the attacks were aimed at driving Kenyan forces out of Somalia, where they are part of an African force fighting al-Shabab.
More than 100 al-Shabab members raided a police station in northeast Kenya last week, wounding one officer and making off with arms and ammunition.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

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