December 1, 2014 / 7:49 PM / 3 years ago

Blasts, gunfire in north Kenya kill one and wound others

MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - Explosions struck the town of Wajir in northern Kenya near the border with Somalia on Monday evening and one person was killed in a gun attack that coincided with the blasts, emergency workers and police said.

A police officer said the assault was probably carried out by Somali Islamist militants. The incident occurred in an area in Wajir called Ngamia, where there are police posts and a social club used by government workers.

The Interior Ministry said on Twitter that three armed men launched the attack. The Kenya Red Cross said about a dozen people were taken to hospital after the blasts and gunfire.

"A patient shot in the attack died," said health worker Abdi Kullow at the hospital. A police officer also confirmed one person had died of gunshot wounds.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The Somali Islamist group al Shabaab has said in the past that it would attack Kenya in retaliation for Nairobi's decision to send Kenyan troops to Somalia with an African Union peacekeeping force. The African forces have been battling al Shabaab militants and driving them out of strongholds there.

Last month, al Shabaab said its recruits had hijacked a bus in north Kenya and shot dead 28 non-Muslim passengers -- the latest in a line of attacks claimed by the group.

The al Shabaab violence has stoked criticism of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government, with opponents saying they have not done enough to protect the public.

Reporting by Noor Ali in Isiolo and Joseph Akwiri in Mombasa, Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Crispian Balmer

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