Kenya Attack: 48 Killed After Gunmen Attack Kenyan City Of Mpeketoni
Armed gunmen, believed to be from the outlawed Al Shabaab terrorist group operating out of Somalia have attacked the small coastal town of Mpeketoni in Kenya. The attack is believed to have resulted in the deaths of at least 48 people, The Guardian reports. Mpeketroni is a small administrative division in the Lamu District, Coast Province, Kenya.
According to Reuters, the gunmen who attacked the town during the evening hours targeted two hotels, a bank and a police station. They were armed with automatic rifles and explosive devices. The gunmen used one of the explosives to cause a building to crash. Many people killed inside the hotel were watching a World Cup match on television at the time of the attack. The initial death toll reported by local agencies stood at 26. That number has risen to 48, at the time of publishing this article. After the initial attack, the gunmen were met with force by Kenyan security forces who engaged them well into the wee hours of Monday morning.
According to Benson Maisori, deputy commissioner for the district, there were around 50 attackers, all of them heavily armed. They came in three vehicles, and they were flying the Shabaab flag.
“They were shouting in Somali and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar,” he added.
A spokesperson fro the Kenyan army said that the surprise attack overwhelmed local police officers as nothing of this scale or type has happened in the area before. The gunmen were reportedly randomly shooting at people around the town.
The latest attacks is part of a series of bombings and terrorist activities to have hit Kenya in recent months. While no one has claimed responsibility for the latest attack, it is assumed that this indeed is the handiwork of the Al Shabaab.
The small town of Mpeketoni is a key trading center in Kenya and is situated about 20 miles west off the island of Lamu which is a popular tourist location in Kenya.
Al Shabaab has been targeting Kenya since 2011 after soldiers from Kenya marched in to Somalia in order to fight the Al Shabaab there. Kenya was also instrumental in the formation of a African Union Force that is currently battling the militants. In the past, Kenya had witnessed a gruesome attack on the Westgate mall in its capital Nairobi in which 67 people lost their lives.
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