Kenyan police have said several people were killed in a shooting in Mombasa. It is the latest in a spate of attacks linked to Somali militants.
The authorities confirmed that gunmen on a motorbike opened fire on the outskirts of Mombasa on Sunday.
Mombasa County police commander Robert Kitur said, “Some suspects…shot at people indiscriminately and as a result, four people have been killed and several others injured.”
“They did not steal anything. They just shot,” he continued.
Following the shooting, the armed men scattered leaflets in the area, which said the attack was retribution for last month’s raid on the town of Mpeketoni in Lamu County.
Around 50 people were killed when gunmen attacked the town, and up to 100 in total have died in incidents in the coastal region since mid-June.
Militants target Kenyan resorts
On Friday, seven people were killed in an attack on a bus near the Kenyan holiday island of Lamu, including two police officers who were called to the scene.
Responsibility for the killings was claimed by Somalia’s al-Shabab group, which said it was “ready to act or attack anywhere necessary within Kenya”.
The al Qaeda linked organisation said the attacks on Kenyan soil were in retaliation for Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.
No one had claimed responsibility for Sunday’s fatal shootings in Mombasa.
Internal conflict over spate of attacks
Al-Shabab militants had claimed responsibility for many recent attacks, but the government of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had also suggested local politicians were behind them instead.
Critics said finger-pointing from the president, who is an ethnic Kikuyu, was merely political point-scoring against Raila Odinga, an ethnic Luo who lost last year’s election to Kenyatta.
Many from Kenyatta’s Kikuyu community feel their kinsmen were targeted during the Mpeketoni attack.
Sunday’s shooting was also considered to be a further blow for Kenya’s tourist industry.
Several Western governments, including the US and Britain, had issued travel warnings advising their citizens to avoid Mombasa.
lw/av (AFP, Reuters)