Around 25 Kenyan police killed in al Shabaab attacks

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Al Shabaab gunmen killed around 25 Kenyan police on Monday, ambushing some officers in a village in the east of the country after others died when their vehicle hit a landmine planted by the militants, their military spokesman said. The Islamist group also burnt five vehicles in the two incidents, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab said. "We took all their weapons. There were some Kenyan forces that escaped in the course of the ambush fighting," he said. Some 20 police died in the ambush, which occurred in Monday evening in Yumbis village, 70 km (45 miles) north of the town of Garissa, the Standard and Daily Nation newspapers said. Last week, al Shabaab attacked Yumbis and hoisted their flag on a mosque where they held prayers before heading to another nearby village. Police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi confirmed there had been an attack in Yumbis. Other government officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Al Shabaab, which has carried out several attacks in Kenya in recent years to try to force Nairobi to withdraw its troops from Somalia, attacked a university in the same area last month and killed 148 people. (Reporting by George Obulutsa; Additional reporting by Feisal Omar in Mogadishu; editing by John Stonestreet)