Garissa: Kenyan police said on Tuesday they were engaged in a major security operation against Shebab militants after an ambush close to the scene of last month's university massacre in Garissa left one officer dead.
The Somali-led al Qaeda branch staged an attack against police in the tense border region late Monday, claiming they had killed 20 police in a bomb attack followed by an ambush close to the village of Yumbis, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Garissa town.
But Kenyan police said in a statement that only one officer died and four others were wounded, with Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery dismissing claims of numerous fatalities as "propaganda".
Police and the army were "now in control of the situation and a massive operation is ongoing," Kenya's police inspector general, Joseph Kipchirchir Boinnet, said in a statement.
"All officers have been accounted for following the ambush by the terrorists," he said, confirming that one officer had died from his injuries and four others had been wounded.
The attack came just days after extra Kenyan security forces were deployed in the area to strengthen security after a series of raids by the Shebab.
Garissa County has remained volatile with numerous attacks since last month, when four Shebab militants stormed Garissa University College, killing 142 students and six members of the security forces during a day-long siege on the eve of the Easter weekend.
It was the group's deadliest attack in Kenya to date.