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Kenyatta blames 'local political networks' for attacks

18 June 2014, 07:16

Nairobi - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday blamed "local political networks" for the killings of dozens of people in two attacks in the coastal region that have been claimed by Somalia's Shabaab militants.

"The attack in Lamu was well-planned, orchestrated and politically-motivated ethnic violence against a Kenyan community with the intention of profiling and evicting them for political reasons," he said in a televised address to the nation.

"This therefore was not an al-Shabaab attack. Evidence indicates that local political networks were involved in the planning and execution of a heinous crime," he said.

"This also played into the opportunist network of other criminal gangs," he added, without identifying the local groups he said were responsible.

His comments came even though the Shabaab said they were responsible for Sunday night's attack on the town of Mpeketoni, in which around 50 people were killed, and Monday night's attack on a nearby village that left 15 dead.

The al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group said the attacks were further retaliation for Kenya's military presence in Somalia as well as the Kenyan government's "brutal oppression" of Muslims.

The Shabaab had also claimed responsibility for last September's siege of the Westgate shopping mall in the capital Nairobi, in which 67 people were killed.



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