Nairobi - Islamic militants attacked the convoy of a governor in Kenya's north, killing three people Friday, in the second attack on the governor's convoy in five months, a police official said.
Five others are in critical condition following the attack on Governor Ali Roba's convoy about 27 kilometers from Mandera town, the official said.
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The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak with the press, says an estimated 20 attackers shot at the convoy which was heading to Wajir town before gunmen opened fire.
Two vehicles were burned and a third vehicle was hijacked and driven off toward the Somali border, the official said. Two police officers were burned beyond recognition, and a politician was killed, he said. Five civilians were wounded by bullets. Roba was safely evacuated.
Al-Shabab militants from Somalia have claimed responsibility for the attack through their radio station.
In October Roba's convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device that went off on the roadside as he was being driven to office. One of his guards was injured in the blast.
Friday's attack comes two days after a new police chief was sworn into office after his predecessor resigned following an attack in Mandera last year that killed 36 people.
Al-Shabab, an Islamic extremist group, 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.
In November al-Shabab attackers hijacked a bus near the town of 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.
As a result of these attacks education has been paralyzed in parts of northern Kenya bordering Somalia after hundreds of teachers refused to return to work, fearing attacks by the Islamic extremists, despite the government's reassuring them that security had been beefed up.