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Police: 4 Beheaded in Kenya in Suspected Al-Shabab Attack

FILE - Armed fighters from the al-Shabab group travel on the back of pickup trucks outside Mogadishu in Somalia, Dec. 8, 2008.

At least four people have been beheaded by suspected al-Shabab extremists based in neighboring Somalia, a Kenyan police official said Wednesday.

The attack took place early Wednesday morning in the Bobo area of Hindi village in Lamu County, said Larry Kieng, the police chief in charge of Kenya's coastal region.

Kieng said the four were shot and then decapitated by armed militants who raided the village.

The attack brings the number of people thought to be beheaded by al-Shabab extremists in Lamu County in the past three months to 16.

Beheadings by al-Shabab have been rare in Kenya but are not uncommon in Somalia, where the extremists carry them out on people who are believed to be enemies and to terrorize local populations.

Al-Shabab has vowed retribution on Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight the extremists. The group has carried out numerous attacks inside Kenya since 2011, but recent attacks have been limited to counties bordering Somalia.

Al-Shabab has become the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa.