MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Gunmen attacked a convoy carrying a Kenyan state governor near the Somali border on Friday, leaving him unharmed but wounding several people close to the spot where Islamists launched a string of deadly attacks last year, the army and media said.
Somali Islamist group al Shabaab said its fighters crossed into Kenya and killed four soldiers in an attack on a military convoy on Friday morning, without mentioning the governor.
“We killed four Kenyan soldiers. We burnt two military trucks and we also took one car from them,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman told Reuters.
Al Shabaab has vowed revenge attacks against Kenya after it sent troops into Somalia where they are battling the al Qaeda-linked group as part of an African Union peacekeeping force.
Musab said the convoy traveling between Mandera and Wajir, two northeastern Kenyan towns close to the porous border with Somalia.
Kenya’s military said its forces had not been ambushed. “There was no attack (on a Kenya Defense Forces convoy), but there was an attack on the convoy of the governor of Mandera,” said David Obonyo, the Kenya Defense Force spokesman.
Kenya’s Daily Nation and Standard newspapers said armed men attacked a convoy transporting Ali Roba, the governor of Mandera region where al Shabaab killed more than 60 people last year.
Several people were wounded and one vehicle was hijacked but the governor was safe, the newspapers reported.
Roba has been urging the central government to improve security in the crime-ridden region awash with bandits and gunmen. Another convoy carrying him was attacked by an improvised explosive device in 2014.
Roba did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Additional reporting and writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Andrew Heavens