A Kenyan government official says four residents have been killed by stray bullets during a raid by suspected al-Shabab extremists in eastern Garissa County.
Deputy county commissioner Kibet Bowen said Tuesday the gunmen targeted police officers at a roadblock near the village of Saretho. Two of the suspected extremists were killed by police, he said.
The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab since December has increased attacks inside Kenya including Sunday"s attack on a military base that killed three US military personnel and destroyed five US aircraft.
It was the first time al-Shabab had attacked US troops inside Kenya. The US on Monday said additional troops had arrived to increase security at the Manda Bay airfield in coastal Lamu county.
The US Africa Command also said it did not assess that the attack was linked to Iran, as Middle East tensions are soaring. Al-Shabab is linked to al-Qaida and has no known links to Iran or its proxies.
Al-Shabab has vowed retribution on Kenya for deploying its troops in 2011 to fight the extremists in neighboring Somalia, where the group is based. Garissa county borders Somalia and Lamu county is nearby.
The extremists often target police as well as civilian targets including buses and schools, mainly in the border region.