Gunmen kill 14 in attack on quarry workers in northeast Kenya

MOMBASA, Kenya - Gunmen killed quarry workers as they slept in an overnight attack on a residential complex in northeast Kenya, a government administrator said on Tuesday.

No one claimed immediate responsibility for the assault in Mandera town, in which officials said at least 14 people died.

Somalia-based Islamic militant group al Shabaab has in the past carried out similar attacks, including one in December in the same county in which 36 quarry workers were killed. "The area they attacked is a plot where quarry workers live. They attacked at around 1 am. Most of those killed are workers from upcountry. In total 14 people are dead," Alex Nkoyo, commissioner for Mandera county, told Reuters by phone.

Abbas Gullet, secretary general of Kenya Red Cross, said the workers were attacked as they slept.

Nkoyo said that among the dead was a woman who had tried to plead with the gunmen before being shot.

Al Shabaab, which aims to topple Somalia's government and impose its own strict version of Islamic law, has carried out frequent attacks in Kenya in recent years to try to force Nairobi to pull its troops out of Somalia, where they are part of an African Union peacekeeping mission.

In the most deadly, the group killed 148 people at a university in eastern Kenya's Garissa County in April.

At least 11 people were also wounded in Tuesday's assault, Gullet told Citizen Television.

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