About fifty men with guns and explosives attacked the town of Mpeketoni, about forty kilometers from the tourist coast of Kenya on Sunday night raided two hotels, a bank and a police station, among other buildings, according to the Inspector General Police, David Kimaiyo, the agency Efe. The death toll stands at 48, according to the balance of the Red Cross, adding that evaluates the field “number of houses, cars, hotels and restaurants burned ” during rebound.
Authorities suspect the attack could be the work of Islamic radical Somali al-Shabab militia, although this group has not claimed responsibility of the attack. Army spokesman, Major Emmanuel Chichir, told the BBC that military surveillance aircraft were deployed to help police in the search for the attackers.
The attack began at 20.00 local time on Sunday and lasted about four hours according to witnesses quoted by local newspaper The Standard. The attackers seized weapons and torched two vehicles at the police station before launching an attack on the hotels in the area, according to this same medium.
The attacks are a blow to that area of Kenya, which lives on tourism, a sector in crisis on the Kenyan coast by terrorism. This is the worst attack suffered by the African country since last September, when at least 67 people died in the assault perpetrated by Al Shabab militants against Westgate Nairobi mall.
Kenya – Nairobi and especially the coastal city of Mombasa – has been under attack since in October 2011, the Army went into Somalia because of a wave of kidnappings on Kenyan soil blamed on the Somali Islamist militia. Kenyan troops have now been absorbed into the peacekeeping mission of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)
Al Shabab, which in 2012 announced its formal terrorist network Al Qaeda membership, controls large areas of central and southern Somalia, where the fragile Somali government has not yet succeeded in imposing his authority.
Somalia is in a state of insecurity since 1991, when he was ousted dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, leaving the country without a moderately effective government and into the hands of radical Islamic militias, warlords and gangs of armed criminals.