The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Al Shabaab Kill More Than 26 in Mpeketoni, Lamu County

Photo: Capital FM
At least 27 people dead following terror attacks in Lamu (file photo).

A mob of armed gunmen linked to the Somalia's Al shabaab militia have shot dead more than 26 people in a night of terror in Mpeketoni town 300kms from Mombasa.

Our Malindi Reporter who was caught in the shooting say a group of gunmen of Somali origin started spraying the car their were traveling in with bullets.

"They were so many and they were shooting all over and throwing grenades on everything they saw in their wake. I have never seen anything like it," said our reporter Alphonce Gari.

He could not establish immediately the number of those killed in the attack because he had not yet reached the epicenter of the shooting in Mpeketoni town.

"I counted at least seven badly mutilated bodies lying on the ground where I was. Most of them were boda boda(motorbike) riders," said Gari.

Gari was heading to Lamu town which is 30kms from Mpeketoni with four other journalist when the attacks started at around 8pm. He says it continued until 4am.

"It was not until one of the local Muslim leader took courage and decided to speak to the gunmen that the shooting stopped,but they said they will be back," said Gari.

The police have not issued a statement on the attacks even as Kenyans took to the Social Media to condemn the attacks the biggest after the Westgate attack in 2013 that left 67 dead.

"Its so sad have lost a friend of mine in Mpeketoni Siege in Lamu..RIP Jackline Opondo..n your son Ian..may yr soul rest in peace.Insecurity in our country is wanting," posted Waka Holics on his Facebook.

Unconfirmed reports say that a police station and two hotels are under attack by the gunmen.

Kenya Defence Forces spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir confirmed the attack in his twitter account. Chirchir says that assailants, likely to be Al Shabaab militants, entered Mpeketoni area in two Nissan matatus around 2000hrs on Sunday and started shooting people at random in the town. He said that heavy gunfight is ongoing. Chirchir also said that a reconnaissance aircraft has been dispatched to the area.

A police station, a bank and two hotels were reportedly attacked, according to residents, although officials could not confirm the extent of the attack.

"Some buildings are on fire and we are hearing gunshots," resident Julius Kimotho told AFP.

Benson Maisori, a senior civil servant, said "fighting is going on".

Cafes and bars were reported to have been busy with people watching the World Cup on television.

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InFocus

Terror Attacks in Kenya's Lamu Town

At least 27 people dead following terror attacks in Lamu (file photo).

Dozens of people have been reported dead in the coastal town of Lamu after gunmen hijacked two vans and started shooting people indiscriminately, according to police. Read more »