At least 20 Kenyan police killed in suspected al Shabaab attack

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At least 20 Kenyan police officers have been killed in an ambush by suspected al Shabaab gunmen in a village in the eastern county of Garissa, Kenyan media reported on Tuesday.

The Standard and Daily Nation newspapers said on their websites the officers were killed in Yumbis village, 70 km (45 miles) north of the town of Garissa, on Monday evening and four of their vehicles burnt as they went to the rescue of colleagues wounded when their vehicle hit a landmine earlier in the day.

Both papers said at least 20 officers could have been killed in the attack.

Police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi confirmed there had been an attack in Yumbis, but said more details would be available later. Other government officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Last week, al Shabaab gunmen attacked Yumbis and hoisted their flag on a mosque where they held prayers before heading to another nearby village.

Al Shabaab, which has carried out several attacks in Kenya in recent years to try to force Nairobi to withdraw its troops from Somalia, attacked a university in the same area last month and killed 148 people.

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