[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
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.