NAIROBI - At least two people were killed when gunmen opened fire on a bus and police vehicle on Friday in the latest attack on Kenya’s restive southeastern coast, police said.
The Kenyan Red Cross said there had been ‘six casualties’ in the shooting, without specifying if the victims were injured or killed. A local police source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said armed men opened fire on a bus travelling to the tourist island of Lamu. They then targeted a police car which stopped to intervene, and also hit a third car.
‘Among the dead is a police officer. Several others are injured,’ the police source said. Security services have launched an operation to find several people missing after the attack. It was not known in the aftermath of the attack whether the missing people had been abducted or fled in panic.
Lamu has been hit by a series of attacks since mid-June which, according to the Red Cross, has left a total of 87 dead. Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shebab have claimed responsibility for some attacks, saying they were in retaliation for Kenya’s military presence in Somalia as part of the African Union force supporting the country’s fragile government. However, police and government officials have blamed the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC), a group that campaigns for independence of the coastal region. The attacks have fuelled divisions on the coast, a region where radical Islam, ethnic tensions and land disputes are an explosive cocktail.