At least four security officers were killed in Garissa County on Monday and their firearms stolen in an ambush by bandits.
North Eastern Regional Police Commander Rono Bunei said security forces were still pursuing the attackers.
“Our security officers were ambushed as they were patrolling along the Liboi Kulan road by people we suspect to be bandits. It is unfortunate we lost four officers but we dispatched a combined security team to comb the area for the attackers,” he said by phone.
The area, he said, had recorded several bandit attacks targeting public service vehicles.
He said the security teams continued to search for the bandits for the second day and the operation would only be called off after the bandits were apprehended.
A local administrator in Liboi sub-county had called the police and reported a shootout at the Damajale junction between Liboi and Kulan centres.
A report from the Liboi Police Station indicated a team of security officers who responded to a distress call found four officers had been shot dead.
The four, who were travelling in a Toyota Probox, have been identified as Ibrahim Ali, Mohamud Mohamed Sahal, Haret Hussein Sugal and Aden Yosa Abdi.
The security report also said three AK-47 rifles that the officers were carrying were missing.
“The joint operation is underway to recover the stolen firearms and track down the bandits,” Mr Bunei said.
Taken into Somalia
Meanwhile, two clan elders who were reportedly kidnapped by suspected Al- Shabaab militants in Wajir County have been released.
The two were kidnapped on Sunday in Khorof Harar and taken into Somalia, according to police.
Mr Bunei, the regional police commander, said the two had returned to Kenya.
Mr Abdullahi Isack Hussein, a former councillor of Riba ward who is the chairperson of Khorof Harar Sub County Peace Committee, and Mr Abdi Abikar Ibrahim, a former councillor of Barwaqo in Wajir township, were on a peacebuilding mission when they were kidnapped.
It was reported that they had gone to Diff sub-county for a peace engagement over pasture and water.
“The elders have been released and they joined their families on Monday,” Mr Bunei said.