A Kenyan police officer gunned down six people at a bank in the central part of the country, killing five women and a man, before being shot by a member of the public, police said.
The attack took place at around 2:30 p.m. on Friday in Nyeri, Kenya’s third largest county, police spokesman Charles Owino said.
The police officer used an assault rifle and opened fire at a teller at the Standard Chartered Bank before pursuing the victims into a nearby yard where he shot and killed the six, Owino said.
The officer had a firearm in his service weapon, he said. He did not say what the attacker’s motive might have been.
The assault came less than a week after a Somali militant group claimed responsibility for shooting dead two police officers in a separate incident in Nyeri, one of Kenya’s counties closest to the Somali border.
The Somali militant group, al-Shabab, often makes such threats.
The hardline group has increasingly targeted Kenyan security forces in recent years, killing dozens of police officers and others and disrupting the aid delivery by Kenya’s medical teams to drought-hit areas of the country.
In October, it claimed responsibility for the killing of more than 150 people in a Kenyan university, the deadliest attack the Horn of Africa nation has suffered since al-Shabab began its campaign in 2007.
The British Foreign Office on Friday said one British national and four others were among those killed in the attack.
A smaller-scale attack on a shrine in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi by a suicide bomber killed one person and wounded three. Kenyan police blamed “terrorists.”
The federal government declared a state of emergency in June and announced reforms in response to the attack.
Authorities have intensified operations in areas where al-Shabab has been active and toughened anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism laws.