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MANDERA , Kenya, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Two police officers were injured on Friday night when a police station was raided by a group of attackers , local police said Saturday.

The two at the Fino police camp were left with bullets lodged in the stomach and hand respectively. They were scheduled to be flown to Nairobi for further treatment.

Fino, southwest of Mandera town and is a few kilometers to the border with Somalia , has been the target of cross-border attacks by the insurgents.

The station was surrounded by militants before they fired at them, said Bernard Kosgey , one of the injured, on Saturday in hospital while receiving treatment. According to him , they were using bazookas and other explosives.

"We were on duty and saw a tipper lorry coming from the Mandera side before the lights went off," said Kosgey with his left hand heavily rubbed in a cotton sweater.

He said the militia first begun by shooting at the Fino Administration Police Camp to keep them indoors before ascending onto the police station.

"They were more than a hundred people attacking us because bullets were coming from all the directions forcing us not to respond by firing only to hide ," said Kosgey.

The police called the Kenya Defence Force(KDF) on time but none showed up, and after two hours Kenya Police Reservist (KPR) arrived for reinforcement , he said.

Mandera Deputy Police Commander, Bosita Omukolong said no arrested has been made. He said the station is badly damaged as the militia launched explosives into the station burning the police tents.

The officers at station are housed in tents making it difficult to have a good cover in case of such a situation.

There have been intelligence reports indicating that either of the police stations along the Kenya-Somali border within Mandera County is to be attacked with newly established Omar Jillo KDF camp being the main target.

Last week , the local county officers were bombed by unknown people who partially damaged parts of the building. No arrest has been made so far.

Despite the closure of the Kenya-Somalia border in 2011 by the Kenyan government, Mandera town has experienced a number of attacks from the Al-Shabaab militants with the police blaming it on the porous border and poor equipping of the force.

The country has been subjected to successive explosives attacks by Al-Shabaab operatives in the country following the onslaught by Kenyan soldiers on the Al-Shabaab in Somalia after the militia staged a series of attacks along the Kenyan coast.

Since the Kenya military incursion into Somalia , several attacks believed to have been carried out by Al-Shabaab have occurred in Mandera, Wajir , and Garissa and Dadaab districts of northern Kenya even as the military reports gains against the Islamist group by capturing their military bases and killing scores of them.


by Larry Neild

LONDON, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- A set of official postage stamps was issued Friday to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, one of the greatest disasters to hit Britain's capital city.

The set of six stamps have been designed in a comic-book style as a way of telling the story of the fire which started on Sept. 2, 1666 and raged across a large area of central London.

When the fire was finally extinguished on Sept. 5 it had destroyed more than 13,000 houses and burned down 87 churches in London and many iconic buildings. Over four days the fire destroyed what was the medieval walled City of London, home to 80,000 men, women and children. Over 70,000 of them were made homeless by the fire. Although the death toll is said to have been very low, even today nobody knows the exact number of people who died in the fire. Estimates are that 10 people died.

The fire was stopped from spreading to other parts of London, including the area where the King lived, thanks mainly to two factors -- strong east winds died down, and soldiers based at the Tower of London used gunpowder to create effective firebreaks to halt the fire from spreading.

Philip Parker, a spokesman for Royal Mail, said: ""The Great Fire of London is one of the most infamous events in the history of London. Despite the terrible devastation caused by the Great Fire, it provided the opportunity for the regeneration of large swathes of the city and shaped the London we know today.

""It was the catalyst of the building of iconic landmarks such as St Paul's Cathedral and dozens of parish churches.

""It is fitting that we mark the anniversary of the fire with an innovative set of stamps that re-imagine the events.""

The fire started in a bakery in Pudding Lane, a spot now marked by a commemorative monument that is on London's tourism trail.

Baker Thomas Farriner and his daughter saved their lives by climbing through a window, but their maid perished in the fire, the first victim of the Great Fire of London.

As the fire spread rapidly hundreds of people grabbed what possessions they could carry and ran to the River Thames to escape the flames and the heat.

One of the biggest casualties of the fire was St Paul's Cathedral, completely destroyed by the flames.

Within days of the fire being put out Sir Christopher Wren outlined plans to King Charles II to start the rebuilding of London, including the current St Paul's Cathedral which is now a dominant feature of the capital's skyline. Wren also designed the Great Fire monument in Pudding Lane.

The stamps were designed for Royal Mail by comic book artist John Higgins. Royal Mail said it is the first time they have used a graphic-novel style of design for official postage stamps.

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