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15 more killed as gang strikes three villages

Lamu, Kenya: Fifteen more people were killed in Lamu Tuesday as the gunmen who butchered over 50 people in Mpeketoni on Sunday terrorised three villages.

Several women were also kidnapped and are still missing as the wave of violence, which Al Shabaab claimed responsibility on Monday but which the Government Tuesday blamed on a section of politicians, assumed new proportions, brutality and tactics of Nigeria’s Boko Haram.

The fresh violence was reported in Kaisari, Maporomoko and Mavuno villages, some 20km south of Mpeketoni town, which was rocked by riots Tuesday as residents protested the State’s failure to protect them.

The Standard counted nine male bodies in a police truck at Kaisari that had been retrieved from a nearby forest where gunmen slit the throats of villagers and shot others around 9pm on Monday.

According to local residents there were no police officers on sight when an unknown number of gunmen descended on the three villages simultaneously.

Reports indicate that the attackers refuelled their vehicles at Mpeketoni on Monday evening.

Among those killed in Sunday’s carnage in Mpeketoni was a pharmacist who had been newly posted to the Mpeketoni District Hospital and an administrator with Kemri on assignment in Mpeketoni.

Kemri’s Ayub Kinyuma Mbogho, a native of Wongonyi village, Mbololo in Taita Taveta District, and Fred Mwaura, a pharmacist who had completed internship in Kisumu, arrived in Lamu arrived on Sunday and died the same day.

 “I last spoke to him on Saturday while he was in Lamu island and he told me he was heading to Mpeketoni the following day where he was due to conduct interviews for  a project undertaken by Kemri,’’ said Mbogho’s expectant wife, Scholastica Mbala.

Razed down

She told The Standard that her 40-year-old husband, a certified public accountant,    who was involved in a Kemri project on Family Aid Care and Education Services and HIV, left Nairobi on June 2, 2014 and arrived in Mpeketoni on the fateful Sunday and took up temporary residence at Breeze Hotel which was razed down after being shelled during the attack.

Scholastica said that although she spoke with her late husband daily, she was unable to contact him on Sunday night.

 “At first I thought there was a problem with the network but after the news of the attack began to trickle in, I become worried but still could not reach him,” she said adding that on Monday morning an official from the Lamu County relayed the bad news. 

Joan Wairimu sobbed Tuesday as she recounted her late 25-year-old brother’s sudden death in Mpeketoni.

“My brother (Mwaura) arrived in Mpeketoni on Sunday after completing his internship course at the Kisumu District Hospital and was to report to Mpeketoni District Hospital on Monday.

“He was taken in by a friend when he arrived by bus at around 4pm.”

According to Joan who lives in Mombasa, Mwaura and his friend were preparing to go for a meal in town when they were forced to return to his friend’s house by the heavy gunfire.

“They ran into the house and tried to hide but the gunmen who were pursuing them forced themselves into the house, flushed him out as he pleaded for mercy and shot him in the head,” she said. Her late brother’s friend survived by jumping through the window from his second floor apartment.

Cursing government

Martha Wanjiku’s encounter with the killers who murdered her husband is blood cuddling. Her late husband, Mr Peter Karanja Mwangi, was stabbed and shot dead by her side.

Karanja was among 12 men who either had their throats slit or were shot in the head by the men who were cursing the Kenyan government for deploying the military to Somalia.

“They shouted in English, Swahili that “you should tell your father to withdraw your forces from Somalia,” said Wanjiku, who married Karanja in December last year.

The two were watching   news at 9.15pm when they were startled by gunshots.

“At first we thought it was fireworks but when it persisted, my husband and I climbed onto the roof of our house only to encounter an advancing group of masked men into our residence. They were wielding heavy weapons and two had black flags with white Arabic words on them.

“We ran back into the house only to find some neighbours were hiding and the attackers stormed in and forced every one out.”

She said all the men, women and children were frogmarched into an open area where other families had been taken hostage. The gunmen took out each man and killed them in front of their dazed wives and children.

The Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT) is mourning the death of its employee, a Mr Yego, a native of Eldoret, who perished under a hail of bullets when the armed men opened fire on the institution’s compound in Mpeketoni.

KWFT Managing Director Mwangi Githaiga Tuesday flew to Malindi to offer counselling to affected staff.

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