Deadly shooting in Garissa, eastern Kenya

BY: Sebastian Syme

At least five people have been killed and four wounded in a shooting at a restaurant in the town of Garissa in eastern Kenya, local police say.

Somali Islamist group al-Shabab is suspected of being behind the attack. A senior prison officer was among the dead.

Several soldiers and police have been killed in Garissa in recent months.

Al-Shabab has threatened revenge for Kenyan military involvement in Somalia in support of the UN-backed government.

Gunmen burst into the building and opened fire at around 19:30 local time (16:30 GMT), The Standard newspaper reports.

Three people were killed on the spot and two others died on the way to hospital, local media say.

Police in the north-eastern region are on high alert following reports that contingents of militants from Somalia have crossed the border.

In October, gunmen shot dead a police officer and wounded another in Garissa. In November, three Kenyan soldiers and two police were shot dead there.

Two recent incidents thought to involve al-Shabab in the capital Nairobi left at least 15 people dead, triggering increased tension between ethnic Somalis and other Kenyans.

There have also been mass arrests of ethnic Somalis.