World Bulletin / News Desk
Kenya forces have gunned down five gunmen suspected to be involved in two attacks on the coastal Kenyan town of Mpeketoni earlier this week, the country's interior ministry said Thursday.
The five were killed in an overnight operation and several weapons recovered in Tana River County, some 60 kilometers from Mpeketoni, where at least 60 people were killed in the two attacks this week.
"Five suspected attackers were shot dead while escaping. Three AK47 guns and several ammunitions were recovered," the ministry posted on its Twitter account late Thursday.
This is the first time that the Kenyan government announces that it had confronted those linked to the Mpeketoni attacks.
A Kenyan Defense Forces officer involved in the operation told Anadolu Agency that intelligence reports had led the troops to a forested part of Tana River County, which neighbors Lamu County.
“We confronted the gunmen about 11pm. There was an exchange of fire for a while. We gunned down five gunmen but the rest managed to escape,” the officer, who spoke to Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity, said
Meanwhile, a convoy of Kenyan police officers was attacked by unknown gunmen in Mokowe, Lamu County, a few kilometers away from Mpeketoni.
Somali rebel group Al-Shabaab said, on an affiliate website, that its gunmen had shot dead two Kenyan soldiers. Nairobi remains silent over the attack, which was confirmed to AA by local residents
At least 53 people were killed in Mpeketoni last Sunday in attacks on a local police station and three hotels. in Mpeketoni. Ten more people were killed in a similar attack on Tuesday in the neighboring Poromoko village.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the two attacks, but the Kenyan government has exonerated the group, and instead attributed the violence to political incitement.
Mpeketoni is a mainly Christian town in the predominantly Muslim county of Lamu.
Most local residents are ethnic Kikuyus, Kenya's largest ethnic group.
The city is only 34 kilometers away from Lamu town, a UNESCO world heritage site and a major tourist attraction in the country.Last Mod: 20 Haziran 2014, 10:19