Kenya denies al-Shabab role in attacks

President Uhuru Kenyatta says assaults on coastal areas were planned by 'local political networks' and criminal gangs.

Last updated: 18 Jun 2014 06:11
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Al-Shabab fighters claim they killed at least 15 people in a second night of attacks on Kenya's coast, but the country's president says the attacks were the work of "local political networks" and gangs.

The latest attack happened overnight on Tuesday in Pomoroko, a village located between the city of Mombasa and the Kenyan border with Somalia, where the armed group is based.

The attack come after 48 people were killed in Mpeketoni in the early hours of Sunday. Al-Shabab claimed they carried out the attack to punish the Kenyan government for sending troops to Somalia.

However, President Uhuru Kenyatta denied al-Shabab's role in the attacks, instead blaming what he called "local political networks" and criminal gangs.

Analysis: Al-Shabab's attacks in Kenya

"The attack in Lamu was well planned, orchestrated and politically motivated ethnic violence against the Kenyan community, with the intention of profiling and evicting them for political reasons," Kenyatta said on Tuesday.

"This therefore was not an al-Shabab terrorist attack, evidence indicates that local political networks were involved in the planning and execution of the heinous crime."

In an interview with Al Jazeera, opposition member and senator Anyang Nyong'o said that the security situation in Kenya was getting "very serious" and blamed Kenyatta's government for carrying out "reactive action" instead of "preventive" measures to stop the attacks.

He also dismissed an earlier statement linking the opposition to the attacks, saying the allegations were "extremely irresponsible."

'Fighting a losing war' 

Sunday's assault in Mpeketoni, in Kenya's tourist hub, was the biggest since the deadly Westgate Mall raid last September in the capital Nairobi.

In a statement sent to Al Jazeera on Monday, al-Shabab said it would continue its campaign in East Africa's largest economy.

"The Mpeketoni raid was carried out in response to Kenyan military's continued invasion and occupation of our Muslim lands and the massacre of innocent Muslims in Somalia," it said.

The group said the Kenyan government was "fighting a losing war" and telling tourists to stay away.

Kenya sent troops into Somalia in late 2011, after al-Shabab fighters carried out a series of raids on Kenyan soil.

It has fought a seven-year campaign to impose its interpretation of Islamic law inside Somalia.

Al Jazeera's Rawyah Rageh, reporting from Mpeketoni, said residents were in fear that al-Shabab will carry out more attacks.

Kenya has experienced a drop in tourist arrivals in recent months following gun and grenade attacks blamed on al-Shabab or its sympathisers.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
People are starving in southern Somalia while relief efforts are blocked by government and rebel fighting.
Some scientists say authorities in favour of nuclear energy tend to deny the negative results of researchers.
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
Taliban makes quick gains in Afghanistan with little opposition from Afghan army as US withdrawal begins.
Experts from Minamata, Japan check for signs of mercury illnesses in Ontario, Canada.
join our mailing list