Kenyan police on Monday foiled an attempt by suspected al-Shabab militants to abduct faithful at a mosque in Konton, Wajir County, in the northeastern border region.
Wajir County police commander Hilary Toroitich said a gang of about five had raided a local mosque and taken hostage about 40 faithful who were present.
Toroitich said the militants suspected to have crossed from neighboring Somalia ordered the faithful out and tried to drive them into a thicket heading to the nearby Kenya-Somalia border.
Their target was the imam (Islamic preacher), also a police reservist who was leading the prayers then, the police commander said.
He said it was in the process that gunshots were fired forcing the gang to abandon their mission and escape.
“But there were no injuries reported. We have sent reinforcements to help in tracking the gang,” he said.
The area is near the Somalia border and the militants usually cross at will and stage attacks before escaping back.