Casualties in northeast Kenya town attack: Red Cross

Gunmen hurled grenades and sprayed bullets at a bar in the northeastern Kenyan town of Wajir today, the latest in a series of attacks in the region, the Red Cross said.

0One person was “feared dead” and five others were rushed to hospital with wounds, said the Kenyan Red Cross, which reported “three blasts and gunshots” at a club in the town, where Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab and other militia have carried out a string of raids.

Gunmen appeared to have targeted a bar popular with workers from outside the majority Muslim town.

The gunfire follows an attack last month in which Islamists executed 28 non-Muslims who were grabbed from a bus in the far northeast of the country, near the town of Mandera.

The Shehab said the bus attack was carried out in revenge for police raids on mosques in Kenya’s key port of Mombasa.

Kenya has suffered a series of attacks since invading Somalia in 2011 to attack the Shebab. Kenyan forces have since joined an African Union force battling the Islamists.

No claim of responsiblity for Monday’s Wajir attack has been made.

Several key unions including for civil servants have warned members to leave the restive northeast until the government can ensure their safety.

Professionals working in the largely Muslim and ethnic Somali northeastern regions often come from further south in Kenya, where Christians make up about 80 percent of the population.

Yesterday, Kenyan media reported the embattled interior minister and police chief may soon be sacked over “repeated lapses” in security following a wave of attacks.

Both officials mentioned in the report have been under fire since last year’s attack by the Shebab against the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, in which at least 67 people were killed in a siege involving just four gunmen and which lasted four days.

Worries over internal security mounted when Shebab rebels then massacred 100 people in a string of raids against villages in the Lamu region on the Kenyan coast in June and July.


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