News / Africa

Kenya Gunmen Kill at Least 4 in Retribution Attack

A Kenyan police officer with civilians views a Taheed Bus at the Lamu Police Station in Lamu, July 19, 2014.
A Kenyan police officer with civilians views a Taheed Bus at the Lamu Police Station in Lamu, July 19, 2014.
VOA News

At least four people were killed and several others injured on Sunday in an attack by armed gunmen in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa , police said.

It's the same area where 94 other people have died in less than a month in attacks claimed by an al-Qaida-linked militant group, police said.

Witnesses said gunmen went on a shooting rampage in the Soweto slum on the edge of Kenya's second-largest city and scattered leaflets saying the attack was retribution for last month's raid on Mpeketoni, a town about 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of Mombasa along Kenya's Indian Ocean coastline.

About 50 people were killed when gunmen raided Mpeketoni in Lamu County, a coastal region where about 100 people have died since mid-June in a series of ambushes and raids.

In Sunday's assault, "some suspects ... shot at people indiscriminately and as a result, four people have been killed and several others injured," said Robert Kitur, Mombasa County police commander. "They did not steal anything. They just shot," he added.

Kitur said the police were pursuing the gunmen.

Peter Musyoki, a resident in Mombasa's Likoni area who witnessed the shooting, said two masked men toting a rifle and a pistol haphazardly shot at passers-by.

"I saw two men dressed in black with a red ribbon around their heads," he said. "They walked on foot and were just shooting carelessly at anyone they saw."

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the shooting, the French news agency AFP reported.

Affects tourist industry

The latest attack will further dent Kenya's beleaguered tourist industry after a wave of militant attacks and will deepen public frustrations about poor security.

On Friday night seven people were killed in an attack on a bus near the Kenyan holiday island of Lamu. Among the dead were two police officers.

Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants from Somalia claimed responsibility for that attack. Al-Shabab has vowed to carry out attacks in Kenya to avenge the deployment of Kenyan troops to Somalia to fight the militants

Somalia's al-Shabab militants have claimed responsibility for many of the attacks, but the government, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, has suggested local politicians were behind the incidents.

The leaflets distributed at Likoni, warning Odinga and his community, could further fan an already tense political atmosphere in Kenya.

"This is a revenge for our brothers who were killed in Mpeketoni and you Luos, you wont stay in peace, and you Raila if you have anything to do, just do, we are not fearing you at all," said one of the leaflets seen by Reuters.

Many from Kenyatta's Kikuyu community feel their kinsmen were targeted during the Mpeketoni attack.

Several Western governments, including the United States and Britain, have issued travel warnings advising their citizens to avoid Mombasa.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.

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