[QODLink]
Africa

Kenya arrests suspects after twin attacks

Several suspects are arrested for role in twin raids in the coastal area that left over 60 people dead, officials say.

Last updated: 18 Jun 2014 13:40
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Kenyan authorities denied reports that several women were kidnapped during the attacks [EPA]

Kenyan police have arrested "several" suspects in connection with the twin attacks on the coastal town of Mpeketoni in which at least 60 people were killed, officials have said.

The assault on the town of Mpeketoni late on Sunday, and a nearby village the following night left at least 60 dead, were claimed by Somalia's al-Shabab but blamed by the president on local political networks.

"We have arrested several suspects in connection to Mpeketoni incident including the owner and driver of one the vehicles used by [the] attackers," Kenya's police chief David Kimaiyo said on Wednesday.

"More suspects including leaders are being interrogated."

Despite an immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attacks from al-Shabab, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta instead blamed "local political networks" along with an "opportunist network of other criminal gangs".

Also being held by police is "a suspect who was operating social media accounts purportedly used by al-Shabab to claim responsibility," Kimaiyo said.

Rebels repeat claims

Meanwhile, al-Shabab on Wednesday repeated claims that they were responsible for both the attacks.

"The attack in Mpeketoni was ordered by the mujahedeen high command to retaliate for Kenya's killing of Muslims in Somalia and Kenya. The Islamic fighters answered to that holy call," al-Shabab's military spokesman, Abdulaziz Abu Musab, said in a news conference broadcast by al-Shabab's radio.

According to the spokesman, the al-Shabab attackers "controlled the area of the battle zone for 10 hours" after entering on Sunday night before withdrawing.

He also said 20 people were killed in an attack the following night in a nearby village, although Kenyan officials said only nine people were killed.

Kenyan authorities also denied reports that several women were kidnapped during the attacks.

"There were no attacks involving women, and therefore those are false reports," Kimaiyo told the AFP news agency.

The Kenyan Red Cross, which has been collecting information on those reported missing, said it also had "no evidence" to substantiate the reports that women were kidnapped.

325

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.