Deaths reported after attacker grabs gun and shoots at officers at Kapenguria police station in western Kenya.
A gunman who had taken hostages inside a police station in western Kenya has been shot dead, security sources have said.
The siege in Kapenguria began early on Thursday when the attacker, a suspected al-Shabab sympathiser held at the police station, stole a gun and opened fire at officers, leading to a hostage situation.
Earlier, Police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet had said in a statement that commandos had surrounded the police station in an attempt to bring the standoff to an end.
"His [the attacker's] attempts to escape were thwarted by quick arrival by other officers," Boinnet said.
Boinnet did not give details about casualties, but a police officer, who declined to be named, told the Reuters news agency that at least four officers were killed and that the number could rise.
He said the attacker was suspected of recruiting for the Somali armed group al-Shabab.
Kenya's Nation news organisation reported that five police officers, including a senior officer, were among the dead, quoting West Pokot County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga.
Kenyan television channel KTN said as many as six officers had died in Kapenguria.
Al-Shabab has launched a series of attacks against Kenya in recent years, including using local recruits. The group says the attacks were aimed at driving Kenyan forces out of Somalia, where they are part of an African force fighting al-Shabab.
More than 100 al-Shabab members raided a police station in northeast Kenya last week, wounding one officer and making off with arms and ammunition.
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|Allen L. Jasson|