Thirteen people including police officers were killed when unknown gunmen raided Lamu and Tana river counties on Saturday night, a Red Cross official said, attacks that have taken the area security personnel back on the drawing board after 65 other people were killed in Lamu’s Mpeketoni area a fortnight ago.
The attacks took place in Gamba area within Tana River and Hindi in Lamu where gunmen attacked a district officer’s office and a police station and shot at villagers indiscriminately.
“We can be able to confirm 10 fatalities in Gamba within Tana river and three in Hindi, Lamu. There are indications that among those killed are police officers. Those dead have gunshot wounds. We have also evacuated two casualties in Hindi area of Lamu who are currently in hospital receiving treatment,” Wariko Waita, Kenya Red Cross director of external communication, told Baraka FM on telephone.
John Miiri, Lamu County commissioner said the the attacks occurred at around 10pm where a gang of armed men went from the rural to town villages attacking people and driving them away.
“We have information that they attacked some government offices especially a district officer and a chief’s office,” Miiri said.
“We also know that some houses were burnt down in Hindi area. For now we don’t know how many casualties are there but we deployed police officers immediately to arrest the situation.”
A local chief said the gang comprised of between 10 and 15 people, and went around shooting at people and villages indiscriminately, adding that he feared they may have caused losses of both life and property.
Heavy gun fire was heard in Gamba and Hindi areas earlier and the Kenya Red Cross said they had deployed response teams to handle any emergencies.
“Gunfire reported at Hindi trading center between Mpeketoni and Mokowe, 15 km from Lamu. Local authorities responding with police assistance,” the interior ministry said on its twitter handle.
On a twitter feed ‘Live From Mogadishu’, allegedly run from Somalia, the al shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
“Al Shabaab military spox, Abu Mus’ab, claim they killed more than 10 people after they attacked a town near Lamu this evening,” they said on the twitter.