Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i have declared a curfew. A night curfew has been declared in parts of Lamu County as security forces kicked off a major operation following the killings of 7 people.

The curfew was declared Wednesday by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi who listed affected areas as Mukunumbi, Witu, Mpeketoni, and Hindi.

“Residents of the disturbed areas are requested to cooperate with the security agencies to share information on suspicious persons and activities,” he said in a statement.

Eight suspects have been arrested over the Monday and Tuesday attack in which seven people were killed in what was initially thought to be linked to Al Shabaab. Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai has since said the attack was linked to land disputes and other motives.

Six people were killed and homes torched on Sunday night in a grisly attack that left one man beheaded.

Five were shot or burned to death in the assault on a village in Lamu County which began late Sunday and dragged into early Monday, police said.

Police said the assailants stabbed and beheaded a local elder and razed his home, and shot dead another man whose body was found on a roadside nearby.

The corpses of four other men burned beyond recognition were found with their hands bound in another location, according to a police report seen by AFP.

“Also several houses were torched within the locality and property of unknown value burnt,” the report said, adding that bullet casings were recovered.

A senior police officer in the area, which lies about 420 kilometres (260 miles) southeast of Nairobi, said four of those killed were not local residents, and that some may have been involved in land disputes, without elaborating.

Lamu County governor Fahim Twaha condemned those responsible for the “atrocities committed against innocent people”.

“It is our hope that the criminals will be apprehended soon. We are certain they will face God’s justice in this world and in the hereafter,” he told AFP.

– Retaliatory attacks –
The Lamu region, which includes the popular tourist beach destination of Lamu Island, lies close to the Somali frontier and has suffered frequent attacks, often carried out with roadside bombs.

In mid-2014, close to 100 people were killed in a series of armed assaults on the inland town of Mpeketoni — in the same region as Monday’s attack — and surrounding villages in

Lamu County.

Al-Shabaab fighters have staged numerous attacks inside Kenya in retaliation for Nairobi sending troops into Somalia in 2011 as part of an African Union force to oust the jihadists.

In January 2020, the Islamists stormed a US military base in Lamu, destroying several aircraft and killing three Americans.

A year earlier, Al-Shabaab gunmen killed 21 people at an upscale hotel complex in Nairobi while previous attacks saw 67 people killed at the Westgate shopping centre in 2013 and 148 at Garissa University in 2015.

The jihadists are seeking to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, and control swathes of southern Somalia from where they regularly launch attacks in the capital and elsewhere.

Somalia is also in the grip of a political crisis with its president and prime minister locked in a feud over the country’s long-delayed elections, an impasse analysts say is distracting from the fight against Al-Shabaab.

Sourced from capital news

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