Al Shabaab militants attacked a village in the northeastern Kenyan county of Garissa, the ministry of interior said on Friday. The Somalia-based al Shabaab group, which has carried out frequent attacks in Kenya in recent years to try to force Nairobi to pull its troops out of Somalia, struck a university in the same area last month, killing 148 people. A ministry statement said the militants entered Yumbis village, 70 km (45 miles) north of Garissa town, but were driven back. “Security forces on Thursday evening thwarted an attempted attack at Yumbis village,” it said. “Security forces swiftly mobilized and engaged the militants in a gun battle. No casualties were reported.” A police source in the area who did not wish to be named said the militants roamed Yumbis for an hour in two trucks bearing Kenyan registration plates. They hoisted their black flag on a mosque where they held prayers, before they headed out to a nearby village called Damajale. A combined force of police and the army drove them off about three hours later, the source said. Kenya’s tourism industry, a top foreign exchange earner, has borne the brunt of the attacks, as worried tourists cancel their bookings.

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