by Chris Mgidu and
Joy Nabukewa LAMU (Xinhua) -- At least
ten people were killed and an unknown number injured after
suspected Al-Shabaab militants attacked a Kenyan village in the
coastal Lamu region early Saturday.
A senior police
officer in Lamu said the militants descended on Jima/ Poromoko
area of Lamu County and attacked civilians at around 4:30 am.
"This morning Al-Shabaab slaughtered eight to ten people in
their houses at Jima area within Pandanguo.
"They targeted only male who are from certain communities,"
said the officer, noting that the militants are now advancing
towards Bargon direction.
He said about 15 armed Al-Shabaab militants of Somali origin
herded together non-locals and slaughtered them using knives.
Many other people are unaccounted for in the area and there
were fears the toll may increase.
Police chiefs said a security team had been sent to the scene
and was yet to get more information on the attack.
Regional police commander Akello Odhiambo confirmed the
attack at Jima village, saying the insurgents shot and hacked to
death the villagers.
"We have sent more security reinforcement to the scene to
pursue the attacks," Odhiambo said without confirming the number
Head of operations for Operation Linda Boni, James ole
Seriani said there was an attack but refused to give details. He
said a team of security officials had been sent to the area to
pursue the attackers.
"There was an attack in the area and we are still pursuing
"We will give more information later," said Seriani.
President Kenyatta in a television news conference in Nairobi
on Saturday mentioned the incident but said more details would
be provided later.
"We have had an unfortunate incident this morning that we are
currently assessing and addressing.
"I wish to assure Kenyans and all our friends of good faith
that Kenya is secure and I wish to take this opportunity also to
let those who wish to see a destabilized Kenya, an unsettled
Kenya, that we are strong and we are ready," Kenyatta said.
Other security sources on the ground said at least ten bodies
had been recovered and all were beheaded and were men.
The locals said the militants had earlier visited homesteads
looking for food.
The scene of the incident is about two kilometers away from
Pandaguo where the militants attacked last week and killed three
There are fears the militants could be planning attacks in
other parts of the county.
Security agencies have stepped up their efforts to address
the fears calling on the public to be generally alert and report
any suspicious objects and persons.