, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 19 – Four policemen, two passengers and a driver are confirmed dead following Friday night’s attack in Witu, Lamu County.
Lamu County Commissioner Njenga Miiri said the policemen were escorting a three-vehicle convoy when the attack occurred.
“We have seven people dead in Friday attack. We are pursuing the assailants,” Miiri said.
The two passengers succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment on Saturday morning.
Some of the passengers were said to be missing in the aftermath of the attack and it was not known whether they had been abducted or fled in panic.
The attack comes days after Kenya Defence Force destroyed military camps in Boni forest where the militiamen behind the killings are believed to be hiding.
Lamu has been hit by a series of attacks since mid-June which, according to the Kenya Red Cross, has left over 90 people dead.
Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab have claimed responsibility for some attacks, saying they were in retaliation for Kenya’s military presence in Somalia as part of the African Union force supporting the country’s fragile government.
However, police and government officials have blamed the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC), a group that campaigns for independence of the coastal region.
The attacks have fuelled divisions on the coast, a region where radical Islam, ethnic tensions and land disputes are an explosive cocktail.