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UPDATE 1-Kenya police officers among 10 killed in bus attack

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(Updates with Police Statement)

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan police were among the dead when gunmen suspected of belonging to the Islamic militant group al Shabaab attacked a bus on Friday near the Somali border, President Uhuru Kenyatta's office said on Saturday.

The Medina Bus Company vehicle was attacked on a lonely stretch of road in the Kotulo area while traveling between the cities of Wajir and Mandera.

"People, including police, were brutally murdered," Kenyatta's office said in a statement.

Police said 10 people were killed and the attackers specifically targeted non-Somalis after signaling the bus. The area is inhabited mainly by ethnic Somali Kenyans.

"The attackers separated local Somalis from non-locals and in the process killed 10 non-local people," police spokesman Charles Owino said in a statement.

He said security forces were pursuing gunmen and that the bus driver and driver were in custody and assisting with investigations.

Al Shabaab said he carried out the attack and killed 10 people, including "secret security agents and government officials."

The Somali-based group has attacked Kenya many times since the East African country sent troops across the border to fight militants in its homeland in October 2011.

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri and Feisal Omar)

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