Kenya president blames locals for deadly attacks

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Kenya president blames locals for deadly attacks
Abdullahi Abdi, left, Chairman National Muslim Leaders Forum ( NAMLEF) with members of the Muslim Council of Kenya speaks to the media in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, June, 17, 2014. Extremists attacked a coastal area of Kenya for the second night in a row, killing at least nine people a day after the deaths of nearly 50, an official said Tuesday. Police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi said that al-Shabab militants attacked Majembeni village. The Somali militant group also claimed responsibility for the Sunday night attack in nearby Mpeketoni that killed 48 people. The Muslim leaders condemned the killings as savage acts and warned that they should not divide Kenyans along religious lines.(AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)
Abdullahi Abdi, left, Chairman National Muslim Leaders Forum ( NAMLEF), speaks during a press conference with Ibrahim Ahmed Yusuf, right, of the Jamia Mosque Committee in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, June, 17, 2014. Extremists attacked a coastal area of Kenya for the second night in a row, killing at least nine people a day after the deaths of nearly 50, an official said Tuesday. Police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi said that al-Shabab militants attacked Majembeni village. The Somali militant group also claimed responsibility for the Sunday night attack in nearby Mpeketoni that killed 48 people. The Muslim leaders condemned the killings as savage acts and warned that they should not divide Kenyans along religious lines.(AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)
Men look at a pool of blood at the entrance of a restaurant where most of the people who ran to hide were shot in the town of Mpeketoni, Lamu county on June 16, 2014 after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu the night before. At least 49 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 file photo, hundreds of newly trained al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area some 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Mogadishu, in Somalia. Kenyan officials said Monday, June 16, 2014 that militants wielding automatic weapons attacked the small Kenyan coastal town of Mpeketoni, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Somali border, late Sunday night as town residents watched World Cup matches on TV, assaulting the police station, setting two hotels on fire, spraying bullets into the street, and killing dozens of people. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)
SOMALIA, KENYA - JUNE 16: At least 53 people have been confirmed killed in attacks by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in the coastal town of Mpeketoni in Lamu County near Kenya's border with Somalia, June 16, 2014. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SOMALIA, KENYA - JUNE 16: At least 53 people have been confirmed killed in attacks by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in the coastal town of Mpeketoni in Lamu County near Kenya's border with Somalia, June 16, 2014. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SOMALIA, KENYA - JUNE 16: At least 53 people have been confirmed killed in attacks by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in the coastal town of Mpeketoni in Lamu County near Kenya's border with Somalia, June 16, 2014. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SOMALIA, KENYA - JUNE 16: At least 53 people have been confirmed killed in attacks by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in the coastal town of Mpeketoni in Lamu County near Kenya's border with Somalia, June 16, 2014. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A young man looks at the scene on June 16, 2014 where 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town of Mpeketoni near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu the night before. The assault on Mpeketoni, near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu, left at least 49 dead and was the worst attack by the Shebab on Kenyan soil since last September's siege of the Westgate shopping mall in the capital Nairobi, in which 67 people were killed. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative of one of the victims makes a phone call in Mpeketoni, Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, on June 16, 2014, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu the night before. The assault on Mpeketoni, near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu, left at least 49 dead and was the worst attack by the Shebab on Kenyan soil since last September's siege of the Westgate shopping mall in the capital Nairobi, in which 67 people were killed. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Kenya police observe the remains of burnt-out cars at a police station in Mpeketoni, Lamu county on June 16, 2014 after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu the night before. At least 49 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A motor cyclist rides past a burnt out makeshift hotel where most of the people who ran to hide were shot in the town of Mpeketoni, Lamu county on June 16, 2014 after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu the night before. At least 49 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives and friends gather next to a car with burn-out remains of one of the locals at a police station in the town of Mpeketoni, Lamu county on June 16, 2014 after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu the night before. At least 49 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives and friends gather next to a car with burn-out remains of one of the locals at a police station in the town of Mpeketoni, Lamu county on June 16, 2014 after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu the night before. At least 49 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Kenya police observe the remains of burnt-out cars at a police station in Mpeketoni, Lamu county on June 16, 2014 after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 49 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Kenya men observe the remains of burnt-out cars at a police station in Mpeketoni, Lamu county on June 16, 2014 after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 49 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members wait to collect bodies of their relatives at Mpeketoni hospital in Lamu county on June 16, 2014 after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members wait to collect bodies of their relatives at Mpeketoni hospital in Lamu county on June 16, 2014 after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members wait to collect bodies of their relatives at Mpeketoni hospital in Lamu county on June 16, 2014 after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
A morgue attendant walk past bodies of victims gathered in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county on June 16, 2014 , after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu the night before. At least 49 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather next to charred vehicles outside a police station in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Men wear protective gloves as they stand in and outside a house where the bodies of victims are gathered in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Victims' bodies lie in the back of a truck in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather to look at the body of a policeman killed in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, when some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
The body of a man lies where he was attacked and killed in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather near the body of a man lying in the street in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16 AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
The body of a victim lies in a house in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
A man looks at the wreckage of a 14-seater mini-bus in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture shows a destroyed house in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather around the wrekage of a car in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16 AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Men look at the wreckage of two vehicles sitting on the roadside in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16 AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather outside a building still smouldering in Mpeketoni, in Lamu county along the Kenyan coast, after some 50 heavily-armed gunmen attacked the town near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of lamu the night before. At least 48 people were killed when suspected Shebab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said June 16. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

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.

Read Full Story

People are Reading