7 Kenyan cops killed in al Shabaab bomb attack

President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed revenge, saying al Shabaab will have no time to breathe.

FILE: Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta (2nd R) attends prayers on 22 January 2016. Picture: AFP/John Muchucha.

PRETORIA/MOGADISHU - Seven Kenyan police officers have died in a roadside bomb attack in the eastern part of the country.

This morning's deadly blast occurred as Kenya pulled troops out of some of its bases in Somalia after Islamist attacks.

The Kenyan troops, part of an African Union (AU) force in Somalia (Amisom), took heavy losses when Al Shabaab launched a dawn raid on the camp near the Kenyan border on 15 January.

Kenyan authorities say a police truck hit an improvised explosive device in the coastal Lamu region this morning.

Kenyan officials have not yet revealed the death toll, but newspaper pictures of coffins draped with Kenyan flags bringing back dead soldiers has increased pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta and his military chiefs.

Kenyatta has vowed revenge, saying Al Shabaab will have no time to breathe.

He is expected to attend a memorial service today alongside visiting Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

AL SHABAAB SEEKS CONTROL

Al Shabaab, which has links to al Qaeda and seeks to overthrow Somalia's Western-backed government, said it had killed more than 100 soldiers in the attack. The militants are seeking to drive the AU force out of Somalia.

Al Shabaab has inflated casualty figures in the past, while other official estimates often play down numbers.

In a statement, al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, said the group was now in control of the town.

"This morning we peacefully captured El Adde," he told Reuters, in a claim that was echoed by local residents.

Additional reporting by Reuters.