Kenya Coastal Town Attack: Deadly Attack Rocks Kenyan Town of Mpeketoni / Africa News

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Local reporters in Kenya have said that Suspected Al Shabab militants have attacked hotels and a police station in the Kenyan coastal town of Mpeketoni, leaving the town very devastated on Sunday evening.

The town of Mpeketoni is a busy trading centre, and is close to the popular tourists’ attraction island of Lamu which is rich in ancient architecture that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Witness told reporters that there were intense long hours of gun battle before the militants set buildings and other properties on fire.

At the beginning of the World Cup last week, Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta warns that people should avoid watching the football matches in overcrowded bars since militants can strike at any point in time during this World Cup season.

The attackers were said to have stolen weapons from the local police station in the town and many residents were said to have fled the town to seek refuge in the forest. It is unclear how many people have died but a local community officer said they have recovered six burned bodies on the street so far.

Local police chief, Hamaton Mwaliko told the Reuters African Service that the militants had hijacked a van in nearby town before proceeding to the Police station to carry out the attack.

“They raided Mpeketoni police station first, some hotels in the town are on fire. We don’t know how many casualties are there for now. We understand the attackers have already fled but our officers are pursuing them”, he said.

Kenya has suffered a number of militant attacks since 2011 when its forces entered neighboring Somalia to combat Al-Shabab fighters. Al-Shabab has said that it is staging attacks in Kenya because Kenya is violating Somalia’s territorial integrity.

Kenya has seen a sharp decline in the tourism industry in recent months following a series of gun and grenade attacks blamed on al Shabab militants.

Last month, series of explosions in the capital Nairobi and in the coastal city of Mombasa led Britain, the United States, France and Australia to issue travel warnings to Kenya to its citizens. More than 400 tourists were evacuated to their various countries in the same month as a result of the frequent militants’ attacks.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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