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Police pursue gunmen behind murder of 14 in Kenya's border town

Doctors and medical staff help a man injured in the Mander attack, as he arrives to be treated at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya ,Tuesday July 7, 2015. (AP / Khalil Senosi)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

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MANDERA, Kenya -- Kenya's security officers on Tuesday launched manhunt for gunmen behind the killing of 14 people and injuring of 11 others in a dawn attack in the country's northeastern Mandera County, which is close to the border with Somalia.

Northeastern Regional Coordinator Mohamud Saleh said a contingent of security officers drawn from the military, para- military, and the National Police Reservists are already combing the region to apprehend the gunmen.

"Our officers have already cordoned off the area. We have already launched for a manhunt of the killers who we believe are milling in the crowd," Saleh said.

"They attacked the two houses the quarry workers were residing, killed 13 and one mother and later placed IED (improvised explosive devices) presumably for the soldiers who would come to the scene," county commissioner Alex ole Nkoyo said on Tuesday.

The quarry workers employer rented the house for them near a livestock market, about two kilometers from Mandera town, where the stonemasons return to sleep, as they were prohibited from living near the quarry.

Saleh said they suspect the attack was planned by radicalized youth in Mandera country and ruled out Al-Shabaab.

"We believe these are radicalized youths from Mandera who are living within community and not Al-Shabaab members from Somalia. It looks like a mission that was well planned before being executed," Saleh said.

According to intelligence report, the attack was carried out by about 20 gunmen. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

However, Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants have carried out several similar attacks in Kenya since Kenyan troops joined the effort in Somalia to battle the Al-Qaida-linked fighters in 2011.

In December last year, the militants killed 36 quarry workers in Mandera, after which, the local government ordered workers to leave the quarries and move to town given the security reasons.

Top regional security chiefs led by the regional boss Saleh were due to visit the place of scene to assess the situation. No arrest has been made as the police are investigating the incident.

The Kenya Red Cross is leading the evacuation process as arrangements are made to airlift those who were seriously injured to Nairobi.

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