World Bulletin/News Desk
Gunmen killed at least 29 people in raids on two separate areas on the Kenyan coast, the interior ministry said on Sunday.
The Somali group al Shabaab, which attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi last September, said it had staged an attack on Saturday evening in the coastal area.
Officials said a group of 10-15 men struck at Hindi, situated 15 km (9 miles) from the town of Lamu, and close to the town of Mpeketoni, which was nearly destroyed in one of the attacks in June, at about 10 pm on Saturday.
"They went around shooting at people and villages indiscriminately," Abdallah Shahasi, the area chief, told Reuters.
Al Shabaab said it had broken into the police station at Gamba and freed suspects from the detention cells. A Kenyan police source corroborated that account.
"They killed some of our colleagues and freed Muslim detainees. Some of those freed were linked to the Mpeketoni attacks two weeks ago. We still don't know how many detainees were freed until we verify with registers at the station," the police source who asked not to be named, told Reuters.
Miiri Njenga, the Lamu county commissioner, said the attackers targeted some government offices and some properties were burnt down.
The Red Cross said three people were taken to hospital with injuries, from both areas, adding another one was reported missing in Gamba.
The militants attacked the upscale Westgate shopping mall in the capital Nairobi last September, killing 67 people.
The wave of gun and grenade attacks along the coast and in Nairobi has hurt the tourism business, which is a key source of foreign exchange.Last Mod: 06 Temmuz 2014, 11:05