AM 720 KDWN
News, Traffic, Weather

Kenya president blames locals for deadly attacks

KDWN

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The killers in the Kenyan village singled out non-Muslims, shooting them point-blank or slitting their throats, just like the previous night in an adjacent hamlet. A Somali extremist group claimed responsibility but Kenya’s president on Tuesday blamed local political networks for the 60 deaths.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a national address, said evidence indicates that the motive for the killing spree was to evict a community of people in order to grab the land along the coast near the Somali border. He said al-Shabab, a Somali group linked to al-Qaida, was not behind it.

But analysts expressed doubt. Matt Bryden, the former head of the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia, said al-Shabab has never claimed credit for an attack it didn’t carry out.

“It has all the hallmarks of an al-Shabab attack, said Bryden, now the head of Sahan Research. “Secondly, there’s been no sign of a Kenyan group carrying out an attack on this scale or with these tactics.”

In a nearby village, residents stood on top of burned-out vehicles and erected barricades of burning tires to blockade the road in protest against the recent killings and what they claimed was the government’s failure to provide them with enough security. Some residents abandoned another village with their belongings on their heads while armed security forces marched in single file along narrow paths leading through the dense swamp and forest, searching for the killers.

Al-Shabab said Monday that such attacks would continue “as you continue to invade our lands and oppress innocent Muslims.” Al-Shabab gunmen attacked an upscale mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, last September, killing at least 67 people in reprisal for Kenya sending its troops to Somalia.

The second night of deadly attacks against a Christian community on Kenya’s north coast seemed designed to try to inflame Christian-Muslim tensions in Kenya, religious and political leaders said.

Bearded Muslim leaders conferring inside Nairobi’s largest mosque, a grand white facade nestled among the capital’s high rises, condemned what they called savage acts and ghastly killings and said there was no justification for them.

They warned of a potential sectarian rift.

“The continued violence risks tearing the country apart,” they said, continuing later: “We need to be cognizant of the fact that some of these attacks are aimed at planning seeds of discord and animosity among Kenyans and divide the country along ethnic and religious lines.”

Kenyatta labeled the perpetrators of the attacks as reckless hate-mongers who create intolerance and fanaticism.

Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said a new slate of government and security officials have been installed in Lamu in the wake of the attacks, in part because “there seems to be some inside job.”

The newer attack happened in Majembeni village, which is next to Mpeketoni, where four dozen Christian men were slaughtered Sunday night and Monday morning. Al-Shabab said in a radio broadcast in Somalia that its fighters killed government workers and Christians.

A county commissioner, Benson Maisori, said the attackers Tuesday night appear to have been the same group as in Mpeketoni. He confirmed 10 deaths in Majembeni.

“The style of killing is the same. They slit the victims throats wide open or shot them several times in the head,” said Maisori.

Though much of Kenya’s north coast has been inhabited by Muslims for centuries, Mpeketoni residents are mostly Kikuyu, a Christian community that the president hails from. Land issues have long caused severe tension on the coast, with Muslims blaming “upcountry” Kenyans for stealing land.

Whoever was behind the attacks, the back-to-back assaults underscore the weak security around the area, which lies just south of the Somali border. The tourist center of nearby Lamu island once attracted hordes of foreign visitors but its tourist sector has been suffering in recent years because of the violence.

Kenya has seen ethnic violence rip apart the country in recent years. More than 1,000 people were killed in ethnically motivated violence after the country’s 2007 election. Both Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have been charged at the International Criminal Court for what the court’s prosecutor says is their role in helping to instigate that bloodshed.

Kenya president blames locals for deadly attacks

KDWN

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The killers in the Kenyan village singled out non-Muslims, shooting them point-blank or slitting their throats, just like the previous night in an adjacent hamlet. A Somali extremist group claimed responsibility but Kenya’s president on Tuesday blamed local political networks for the 60 deaths.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a national address, said evidence indicates that the motive for the killing spree was to evict a community of people in order to grab the land along the coast near the Somali border. He said al-Shabab, a Somali group linked to al-Qaida, was not behind it.

But analysts expressed doubt. Matt Bryden, the former head of the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia, said al-Shabab has never claimed credit for an attack it didn’t carry out.

“It has all the hallmarks of an al-Shabab attack, said Bryden, now the head of Sahan Research. “Secondly, there’s been no sign of a Kenyan group carrying out an attack on this scale or with these tactics.”

In a nearby village, residents stood on top of burned-out vehicles and erected barricades of burning tires to blockade the road in protest against the recent killings and what they claimed was the government’s failure to provide them with enough security. Some residents abandoned another village with their belongings on their heads while armed security forces marched in single file along narrow paths leading through the dense swamp and forest, searching for the killers.

Al-Shabab said Monday that such attacks would continue “as you continue to invade our lands and oppress innocent Muslims.” Al-Shabab gunmen attacked an upscale mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, last September, killing at least 67 people in reprisal for Kenya sending its troops to Somalia.

The second night of deadly attacks against a Christian community on Kenya’s north coast seemed designed to try to inflame Christian-Muslim tensions in Kenya, religious and political leaders said.

Bearded Muslim leaders conferring inside Nairobi’s largest mosque, a grand white facade nestled among the capital’s high rises, condemned what they called savage acts and ghastly killings and said there was no justification for them.

They warned of a potential sectarian rift.

“The continued violence risks tearing the country apart,” they said, continuing later: “We need to be cognizant of the fact that some of these attacks are aimed at planning seeds of discord and animosity among Kenyans and divide the country along ethnic and religious lines.”

Kenyatta labeled the perpetrators of the attacks as reckless hate-mongers who create intolerance and fanaticism.

Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said a new slate of government and security officials have been installed in Lamu in the wake of the attacks, in part because “there seems to be some inside job.”

The newer attack happened in Majembeni village, which is next to Mpeketoni, where four dozen Christian men were slaughtered Sunday night and Monday morning. Al-Shabab said in a radio broadcast in Somalia that its fighters killed government workers and Christians.

A county commissioner, Benson Maisori, said the attackers Tuesday night appear to have been the same group as in Mpeketoni. He confirmed 10 deaths in Majembeni.

“The style of killing is the same. They slit the victims throats wide open or shot them several times in the head,” said Maisori.

Though much of Kenya’s north coast has been inhabited by Muslims for centuries, Mpeketoni residents are mostly Kikuyu, a Christian community that the president hails from. Land issues have long caused severe tension on the coast, with Muslims blaming “upcountry” Kenyans for stealing land.

Whoever was behind the attacks, the back-to-back assaults underscore the weak security around the area, which lies just south of the Somali border. The tourist center of nearby Lamu island once attracted hordes of foreign visitors but its tourist sector has been suffering in recent years because of the violence.

Kenya has seen ethnic violence rip apart the country in recent years. More than 1,000 people were killed in ethnically motivated violence after the country’s 2007 election. Both Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have been charged at the International Criminal Court for what the court’s prosecutor says is their role in helping to instigate that bloodshed.

Kenya president blames locals for deadly attacks

KDWN

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s president blamed political leaders inside Kenya Tuesday for carrying out two nights of deadly attacks that killed at least 60 people in coastal communities, saying that despite claims of responsibility from al-Shabab, the Islamic extremists were not behind it.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a nationally televised address, said evidence indicates that local political leaders inside Kenya were behind what he termed ethnically motivated violence. The Somali militant group al-Shabab had claimed responsibility for two nights of attacks near the tourist resort island of Lamu that targeted non-Muslims.

The newer attack came Monday night in Majembeni village in which 10 people died. The village is next to Mpeketoni, where four dozen Christian men were slaughtered Sunday night and Monday morning.

Al-Shabab said the second attack killed government workers and Christians. A county commissioner, Benson Maisori, said the attackers appear to have been the same in both cases.

“The style of killing is the same. They slit the victims’ throats wide open or shot them several times in the head,” said Maisori.

But in a surprising turn of events, Kenyatta said outright that al-Shabab did not plan and execute the attack, but rather local leaders. He did not get more specific.

Kenyatta said police officials in Mpeketoni had advance intelligence about the attack but did not act on it. The president said some officers have been suspended and will be prosecuted.

Kenyatta said that some political leaders are preaching the idea that some Kenyans are less human than others. “My deputy and I will never go the route of ethnic violence,” Kenyatta said.

The back-to-back attacks underscore the weak security around the Lamu area, which lies just south of the Somali border. Lamu once attracted swarms of foreign visitors but its tourist sector has been suffering in recent years because of the violence.

Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said a new slate of government and security officials have been installed in Lamu, in part because “there seems to be some inside job.”

Ole Lenku said the problem facing the country “is elaborate and is intended to cause discord among our people.” Meanwhile, Muslim leaders on Tuesday conferred inside Nairobi’s largest mosque, a grand white facade nestled among the capital’s high rises. The bearded elders from four different Muslim groups condemned what they called savage acts and ghastly killings and said there was no justification for the deaths.

The Muslims leaders warned of a potential sectarian rift.

“The continued violence risks tearing the country apart,” they said, continuing later: “We need to be cognizant of the fact that some of these attacks are aimed at planning seeds of discord and animosity among Kenyans and divide the country along ethnic and religious lines.”

The Muslim leaders said the government is taking “knee-jerk reactions” and harassing specific communities, a reference to Kenya’s Somali population, which has suffered in a widespread crackdown the last several months which has seen the arrests of thousands of Somalis and the deportation of dozens.

Kenya has seen ethnic violence rip apart the country in recent years. More than 1,000 people were killed in ethnically motivated violence after the country’s 2007 election. That violence, though, did not have religious component to it.

Kenya president blames locals for deadly attacks

KDWN

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s president blamed political leaders inside Kenya Tuesday for carrying out two nights of deadly attacks that killed at least 60 people in coastal communities, saying that despite claims of responsibility from al-Shabab, the Islamic extremists were not behind it.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a nationally televised address, said evidence indicates that local political leaders inside Kenya were behind what he termed ethnically motivated violence. The Somali militant group al-Shabab had claimed responsibility for two nights of attacks near the tourist resort island of Lamu that targeted non-Muslims.

The newer attack came Monday night in Majembeni village in which 10 people died. The village is next to Mpeketoni, where four dozen Christian men were slaughtered Sunday night and Monday morning.

Al-Shabab said the second attack killed government workers and Christians. A county commissioner, Benson Maisori, said the attackers appear to have been the same in both cases.

“The style of killing is the same. They slit the victims’ throats wide open or shot them several times in the head,” said Maisori.

But in a surprising turn of events, Kenyatta said outright that al-Shabab did not plan and execute the attack, but rather local leaders. He did not get more specific.

Kenyatta said police officials in Mpeketoni had advance intelligence about the attack but did not act on it. The president said some officers have been suspended and will be prosecuted.

Kenyatta said that some political leaders are preaching the idea that some Kenyans are less human than others. “My deputy and I will never go the route of ethnic violence,” Kenyatta said.

The back-to-back attacks underscore the weak security around the Lamu area, which lies just south of the Somali border. Lamu once attracted swarms of foreign visitors but its tourist sector has been suffering in recent years because of the violence.

Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said a new slate of government and security officials have been installed in Lamu, in part because “there seems to be some inside job.”

Ole Lenku said the problem facing the country “is elaborate and is intended to cause discord among our people.” Meanwhile, Muslim leaders on Tuesday conferred inside Nairobi’s largest mosque, a grand white facade nestled among the capital’s high rises. The bearded elders from four different Muslim groups condemned what they called savage acts and ghastly killings and said there was no justification for the deaths.

The Muslims leaders warned of a potential sectarian rift.

“The continued violence risks tearing the country apart,” they said, continuing later: “We need to be cognizant of the fact that some of these attacks are aimed at planning seeds of discord and animosity among Kenyans and divide the country along ethnic and religious lines.”

The Muslim leaders said the government is taking “knee-jerk reactions” and harassing specific communities, a reference to Kenya’s Somali population, which has suffered in a widespread crackdown the last several months which has seen the arrests of thousands of Somalis and the deportation of dozens.

Kenya has seen ethnic violence rip apart the country in recent years. More than 1,000 people were killed in ethnically motivated violence after the country’s 2007 election. That violence, though, did not have religious component to it.

Kenya president blames locals for deadly attacks

KDWN

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s president blamed political leaders inside Kenya Tuesday for carrying out two nights of deadly attacks that killed at least 60 people in coastal communities, saying that despite claims of responsibility from al-Shabab, the Islamic extremists were not behind it.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a nationally televised address, said evidence indicates that local political leaders inside Kenya were behind what he termed ethnically motivated violence. The Somali militant group al-Shabab had claimed responsibility for two nights of attacks near the tourist resort island of Lamu that targeted non-Muslims.

The newer attack came Monday night in Majembeni village in which 10 people died. The village is next to Mpeketoni, where four dozen Christian men were slaughtered Sunday night and Monday morning.

Al-Shabab said the second attack killed government workers and Christians. A county commissioner, Benson Maisori, said the attackers appear to have been the same in both cases.

“The style of killing is the same. They slit the victims’ throats wide open or shot them several times in the head,” said Maisori.

But in a surprising turn of events, Kenyatta said outright that al-Shabab did not plan and execute the attack, but rather local leaders. He did not get more specific.

Kenyatta said police officials in Mpeketoni had advance intelligence about the attack but did not act on it. The president said some officers have been suspended and will be prosecuted.

Kenyatta said that some political leaders are preaching the idea that some Kenyans are less human than others. “My deputy and I will never go the route of ethnic violence,” Kenyatta said.

The back-to-back attacks underscore the weak security around the Lamu area, which lies just south of the Somali border. Lamu once attracted swarms of foreign visitors but its tourist sector has been suffering in recent years because of the violence.

Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said a new slate of government and security officials have been installed in Lamu, in part because “there seems to be some inside job.”

Ole Lenku said the problem facing the country “is elaborate and is intended to cause discord among our people.” Meanwhile, Muslim leaders on Tuesday conferred inside Nairobi’s largest mosque, a grand white facade nestled among the capital’s high rises. The bearded elders from four different Muslim groups condemned what they called savage acts and ghastly killings and said there was no justification for the deaths.

The Muslims leaders warned of a potential sectarian rift.

“The continued violence risks tearing the country apart,” they said, continuing later: “We need to be cognizant of the fact that some of these attacks are aimed at planning seeds of discord and animosity among Kenyans and divide the country along ethnic and religious lines.”

The Muslim leaders said the government is taking “knee-jerk reactions” and harassing specific communities, a reference to Kenya’s Somali population, which has suffered in a widespread crackdown the last several months which has seen the arrests of thousands of Somalis and the deportation of dozens.

Kenya has seen ethnic violence rip apart the country in recent years. More than 1,000 people were killed in ethnically motivated violence after the country’s 2007 election. That violence, though, did not have religious component to it.