, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 6 – More than 20 people have been killed in Saturday night’s twin attacks in Lamu and Tana Counties, which police say were conducted by the Mombasa Republican Council.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Grace Kaindi told a news conference that 21 people had died in the two attacks which were simultaneously carried out by unknown people in Hindi and Gamba areas.
“That is what we are trying to figure out with our officers who are on the ground at first we thought it was Al-Shabaab but now it’s turning out to be MRC as they have put it out there clearly. It might have been pre-planned but that will come out in the investigations,” she said.
Kaindi told reporters that they had not received intelligence warning of the attacks.
“We receive a lot of intelligence that Coast will be hit, even now we are still having that intelligence. But I can’t tell you for sure that they said Gamba but there was that incident,” the Police boss said.
In Hindi, 12 bodies have been recovered from the bushes following the raid.
The attackers killed nine others at Gamba police station including a police sergeant manning the station.
“An armed group of about 30 to 50 attacked police officers who were manning Gamba Police station there was a fierce shootout and one group of attackers sneaked and killed 5 people who were being held in one of the cells and one officer died while trying to engage one of the attackers, two other received injuries,” Kaindi said while releasing a situation report.
Three prisoners escaped during the confrontation while 10 others remained unhurt in the next cell.
They then hijacked a truck with unknown number of people. The truck is yet to be found.
“The attackers were finally overpowered by police officers and as they fled, they came across a lorry and fatally shot three occupants and commandeered it to an unknown destination,” she said.
Al Shabaab issued a statement claiming that the Al-Qaeda-linked group’s fighters had carried out another attack in the area in retaliation for Kenya’s military presence in Somalia as part of the African Union force backing the country’s fragile and internationally-backed government.
In Lamu, people of unknown number attacked Hindi area were they burnt seven houses including a church, killed 12 people and injured two.
Police officers responded immediately and engaged the attackers who fled into the darkness.
The Kenya Red Cross put the toll at 22.