MANDERA, Kenya, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police said they repelled an attack by suspected al-Shabab extremists on a police post in Mandera county in the northeast part of Kenya.
Jeremiah Kossoim, Mandera county police commander, said an unknown number of militants stormed the post at 12: 40 p.m. on Saturday in the Olla area and started firing at the local police post. Then they went to the nearest mast and sprayed it with bullets.
Kossoim said no police officer or civilian from the Kenyan side was injured during the shootout which lasted for some 20 minutes.
He said the militants' efforts to destroy the mast were immediately thwarted after security officers immediately engaged them.
"I want to confirm that there was an attempted attack by the militants that flopped. All our officers have been accounted for with casualties coming from them since there were traces of blood going towards their escape route to Somalia," Kossoim said.
Kossiom said security officers were currently combing the area in a bid to pursue the militants who are believed to have escaped towards the border.
"We are using the local chief and elders to pursue the militants. We are optimistic about finding them before they cross over to Somalia," he said.
Kossiom urged locals to volunteer information that will assist tackle the al-Shabab menace in the region, noting that they have an important role to play.
The Somali militants have been abducting civilians and targeting military and police vehicles either by laying an ambush or planting explosives on the road in the northeast region especially in Mandera and Garissa counties.