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IS Claims Responsibility for Attack Outside US Embassy in Nairobi

Unidentified U.S. Embassy personnel and Kenyan security forces stand near the body, right, of a man who was killed outside embassy in Nairobi, Oct. 27, 2016.

A follower of the Islamic State group was responsible for an attack this week on a Kenyan police officer outside the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, the group's Amaq news agency said Saturday.

A knife-wielding man whom police described as a criminal was shot dead outside the embassy Thursday after he attacked and injured a Kenyan police officer.

"The person who carried out the stabbing of a guard outside the American Embassy in Nairobi last Thursday was a soldier of Islamic State responding to calls to target coalition countries," Amaq said.

Kenya's police spokesman said at the time that the motive was unclear and that an investigation had been launched. The spokesman could not immediately be reached Saturday.

Islamic State previously claimed an attack in Kenya in September by three women who were shot dead after they tricked their way into a police station in Mombasa and tried to torch the building, according to police. Police in Kenya have also previously said they detained sympathizers of the group.

But experts said it wasn't clear how close the connection was between groups and individuals proclaiming allegiance to the Islamist group and the Islamic State organization in its Middle East heartland of Syria and Iraq, where it is increasingly under pressure from regional and international forces.