(Adds details of second incident, al Shabaab comment)
By Humphrey Malalo
NAIROBI May 16 (Reuters) – Gunmen from Somalia’s al Shabaab militant group burst into a government official’s house in northeast Kenya and shot him dead late on Monday, police and the group said.
Four attackers in military fatigues killed Dekow Abbey Sirat in Mandera county, a territory near Somalia’s border that has seen a string of al Shabaab raids in recent years. A number of his bodyguards also died in the attack, the militants said.
“We suspect the attackers are militants since after the raid they escaped towards Somalia,” Edward Mwamburi, the head of the northeastern regional police force, told Reuters by phone.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, said: “We killed the Kenyan official in Mandera county. He was our target. Some of his body guards also died and others were injured and we took their weapons.”
The militant group says it will continue to attack Kenya until Nairobi pulls troops from an African Union peacekeeping force inside Somalia.
Al Shabaab, seeking to impose its radical brand of Islam in Somalia, blew up part of a hotel in Mandera in October, killing at least 12 people.
It also killed 148 students in Garissa University in April 2015, its biggest attack in Kenya in decades. (Additional reporting by Feisal Omar in Mogadishu; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Ralph Boulton)