LAMU, KENYA: Police have confirmed at least 27 people died in Mpeketoni, Lamu County attack by gunmen last night and warned toll could rise.
Other witnesses say there are more than 30 people who died in the attack by gunmen believed to be Al-shabaab from Somalia.
Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said among those confirmed dead so far is a police driver.
The deceased officer was a driver to Lamu County commander. “We are going there to witness but the situation is not good for now. The toll could be more than the 27 bodies that we have collected,” said Kimaiyo on phone.
Mpeketoni town is about 40 kilometers inland in Lamu County and the attack was not a surprise. Police have been mobilised to collect the bodies and police boss David Kimaiyo says there were about 50 gunmen who struck the town with explosives and guns attacking two hotels, a bank, police station and other structures.
“They came in as passengers in the quiet town. No arrest,” Kimaiyo said adding that police still collecting bodies. Britain had closed its consular in Mombasa on Friday over terror fears.
“We are yet to know if they were Al-Shabaab militants but so far we have 27 bodies including a police officer and our officers on the ground are collecting more which indicates the toll could rise,” said Kimaiyo.
Mpeketoni is now like a ghost town as many residents are missing and there are more fire being witnessed. Witnesses said many people were held hostage for hours in the attack that started at about 8 pm and ran for almost four hours.
The area is a tourist hub and the attack is a blow in the already struggling sector.