Kenya: 2 held over attacks on the coast

2014-06-18 15:47
Kenya police observe the remains of burnt-out cars at a police station in Mpeketoni, Lamu County. (Simon Maina, AFP)

Kenya police observe the remains of burnt-out cars at a police station in Mpeketoni, Lamu County. (Simon Maina, AFP)

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Nairobi - Kenyan police have detained two suspects in connection with two attacks that killed 58 people on the coast, Daily Nation newspaper said on Wednesday.

The suspects include the owner of a vehicle said to have been used in the attacks, and a man who claimed to have been hired to drive one of the cars used.

 An attack in the coastal town of Mpeketoni - about 50km inland from the tourist island Lamu - on Sunday killed 49 people.

A second attack near Mpeketoni on Monday killed nine, Red Cross said on Wednesday, adding that more than 50 other people were still missing.

Unconfirmed reports said about a dozen women were abducted as well. The Somali radical Islamist group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for both assaults.

 But Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta blamed the violence on his political opponents. In Sunday's attack, a few dozen armed and masked men drove through Mpeketoni, shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) and targeting men for execution.

 They burned homes, cars, hotels, a police station and a bank. Many people are still staying in forests, afraid to go back despite government assurances that security has been beefed up.

Police officials said a handful of low-level, local security officials have been fired, accused of laxity or even complicity in the attacks.

 Kenyatta said there was evidence that intelligence services had foreseen the attacks and alerted local officials.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  uhuru kenyatta  |  kenya  |  east africa
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