The Latest: 3 killed as Kenya official seized by extremists

The Latest on the brief kidnapping of a top Kenyan official by suspected al-Shabab extremists (all times local):


8:20 p.m.

Police sources say three people have died during the brief kidnapping of a top Kenyan official by suspected al-Shabab extremists.

This was the highest-profile abduction by al-Shabab so far in the East African nation, raising security concerns ahead of next month's presidential election.

The police sources say two police officers and a civilian died Thursday in the attack in Kenya's troubled southeast. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

The police sources did not give any details about how the three people were killed.

The abducted official was rescued by Kenyan military.

— Tom Odula in Nairobi, Kenya


6:10 p.m.

A Kenyan official says suspected al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants briefly took hostage a top government official and five others in the country's volatile southeast.

Coast Regional Police Commander Larry Kieng said Thursday a top public works official, Maryam Elmaawy, was on the way to visit families who had fled recent al-Shabab attacks when her convoy was attacked.

Police say two other vehicles were briefly held and released, while the car with Elmaawy was driven into the Boni Forest by dozens of extremists.

Kieng says Elmaawy was rescued by Kenya's military but suffered injuries.

Police also report casualties but are not giving details.

Al-Shabab has vowed retribution on Kenya for sending troops in 2011 to neighboring Somalia to fight the extremist group, now the deadliest Islamic extremist organization in Africa.