Mandera, Kenya: A police officer was Thursday night shot dead and robbed his rifle in an attack by suspected militants in Mandera Town near the volatile Kenya-Somalia border.
The police constable was on foot patrol with his colleague at about 9 pm when they were confronted and ambushed by three men armed with pistols.
Police say the victim was shot in the neck and chin at close range and was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.
The other officer escaped unhurt after he ducked into a ditch and engaged the gunmen in a shoot out. The gang picked the officer’s G3 rifle and escaped with it but dropped the magazine that had 19 bullets.
The killing of the police officer is the latest incident targeting security agents and other government officials in the larger North Eastern region.
More than two dozens of security agents have been killed and similar number injured in well coordinated attacks believed to be staged by Somalia’s Al Shabaab militants.
Police had been on high alert during the Christmas Holidays following reports that the militants planned a major terror attack on churches and other social joints and even kill and injure them.
North Eastern police boss Philip Tuimur said no arrest has been made in regard to the Thursday night attack but added security has been beefed up to avert such incidents.
Police say terror threats are still rife and are calling for public vigilance.
Officials say a message intercepted from the Somali Islamist extremist group Al Shabaab shows the rebels are being offered up to Sh890,000 to kill Kenyan security officers.
Garissa County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed said the rewards are enough incentive to motivate some youths in the eastern Kenyan county to carry out attacks against Kenyan army and police.