The Somalia-based al-Shabab terror group has raided a village in northeastern Kenya, days after a similar operation in a nearby town.
A statement by the Kenyan interior ministry on Friday said the al-Qaeda-affiliated armed group attacked the village of Yumbis, about 70 kilometre north of Garissa – the scene of last month’s bloody university siege.
“Security forces on Thursday evening thwarted an attempted attack at Yumbis village,” the statement said.
“Security forces swiftly mobilised and engaged the militants in a gun battle. No casualties were reported.”
Speaking to Al Jazeera from an unknown location, Abdulaziz Mus’ab, al-Shabab’s spokesman for military operations, said the group’s fighters were in Yumbis for more than eight hours.
“The Mujahideen carried out an operation in Yumbis. This was part of our ongoing operations to free the Christian-occupied Muslim lands of Northern Frontier Districts [NFD] . The coward enemy ran away before our Mujahideen arrived. We spoke to the Muslim residents and left more than eight hours later.
“We will not rest or stop until NFD is free,” he added.
NFD was previously the name of the Northeastern Kenya region, mostly inhabited by ethnic Somali Kenyans.
A resident told Al Jazeera that masked al-Shabab fighters rounded up villagers and looked for non-Muslims.
The fighters left after placing their black flag in every corner of the village, the resident, who did not want to be named for security reasons, added.
On Tuesday, more than 20 fighters from the group raided the town of Hulugho, where they rounded up locals in a mosque and preached to them for two hours before withdrawing.
Last month, four al-Shabab fighters killed 148 people, mostly students, in the siege to the university in the region’s commercial hub, Garissa.
It was al-Shabab’s deadliest attack on Kenyan soil.