Gunmen kill five in fresh Kenya coast attack

June 24, 2014 - 10:07:11 am

MOMBASA: At least five people have been killed in a new attack on Kenya's coast, officials said Tuesday, one week after some 60 people died in twin massacres nearby.

 

The attack took place overnight on a small village near the town of Witu,  some 40 kilometres (25 miles) on the mainland west of the tourist island of Lamu.

 

"There is another attack where five people were killed," a police officer in Lamu said on condition on anonymity.

 

Lamu County Commissioner Stephen Ikua confirmed there had been a new "unfortunate attack", the third in the area this month, but said he could not confirm casualties.

"We have sent our officers to the ground to get more details," Ikua said.

There was no immediate claims of responsiblity.

Attacks last week on the nearby coastal Mpeketoni district left at least 60 dead and were claimed by Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents, though President Uhuru Kenyatta blamed "well-planned, orchestrated and politically motivated ethnic violence" carried out by "local political networks".

The accusations have stoked already tense political rivalry between Kenyatta and opposition parties.

Somalia's Shebab have carried out a string of revenge attacks for Kenya's military role in southern Somalia, including last year's siege of the Westgate shopping mall that left 67 people dead.

Kenyan fighter jets and attack helicopters launched renewed air strikes on Sunday in southern Somalia targeting Shebab bases, as part of an offensive by the 22,000-strong UN-backed AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM), who launched in March a fresh bid to wrest remaining towns from the Islamists.

Kenya army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir boasted the strikes had "left more than 80 Al-Shebab terrorists killed."

But Shebab spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Musab, who said Kenyan troops with the AU were also fighting the Islamists on the ground Monday, dismissed claims over 80 of his fighters had been killed as propaganda.

In separate attacks, at least 20 people were killed over the weekend in northeastern Kenya in ethnic clashes, the latest in a series of revenge attacks between rival Somali clans that has killed over 80 people and forced over 75,000 people from their homes since May. (AFP)

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