NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Gunmen from Islamic extremist group al-Shabab were suspected in an attack that killed one person and severely wounded three others on Sunday in the northern Kenyan county of Mandera, which borders Somalia and has experienced a string of attacks in recent months, a police official said.
The official, who insisted on anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak with the media, said the victims were believed to be non-Muslims. The attack comes two days after gunmen attacked the convoy of Mandera Gov. Ali Roba, killing four people including two policemen. Roba survived the attack.
Adan Duale, a Kenyan Somali who is majority leader in parliament, was quoted on the BBC Somali Service on Saturday telling al-Shabab to leave Kenya alone.
"If you wish to, we shall send you elders, religious leaders and politicians. We shall come, tell us your whereabouts. Leave Kenya alone," Duale said in a statement that many in Kenya interpreted as a call for negotiations with al-Shabab. But Duale said Sunday on his Twitter account that Kenya will never negotiate with "terrorists."
Al-Shabab, based in Somalia, has vowed to inflict violent attacks on Kenya because it has contributed troops to the African Union force supporting the Western-backed government in Somalia. Kenya has experienced a string of attacks since it sent troops into Somalia in October 2011. Police said last month that 312 people have been killed in extremist attacks since 2012.
In October, Roba's convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device as he was being driven to work, injuring one of his guards.
In November, al-Shabab fighters hijacked a bus near Mandera, singled out non-Muslims and non-Somalis, and shot dead 28 passengers. Twenty-two of those killed were teachers. Ten days later, al-Shabab massacred 36 quarry workers who were non-Muslims.
Hundreds of teachers in parts of northern Kenya that border Somalia have refused to return to work, fearing attacks despite government reassurance of increased security.
Associated Press Writer Abdi Guled contributed to this report from Mogadishu, Somalia.