At least three men were killed in a village in Kenya’s coastal Lamu county in the early hours of Sunday during a raid claimed by Somalia-based armed group al-Shabab.
At least five gunmen came to Pandanguo village, searching for men. They interrogated them and killed some of them, a survivor who was shot during the attack said from a local hospital.
The village sits about 40 km inland from the Indian Ocean town of Lamu, which is popular with Western tourists, and is 100 km from the border with Somalia.
“They asked me questions in the Somali language. When I struggled to respond, they shot me but hit my hand,” said the victim, who asked not to be named.
The Al-Qaeda-linked rebel group claimed the early morning raid in a phone call to Al Jazeera.
“Our fighters attacked non-believers in the occupied Muslim land of Lamu. Our Mujahideen killed several non-believers in the attack. We will give more details later.” A spokesman for the group told Al Jazeera.
Mombasa county commissioner Nelson Marwa said the attack “resembles one of those executed by the al Shabaab,” though he said investigators were still looking into the reports that the attackers were speaking Somali.
In 2014, at least 60 people were killed in the area in a spate of attacks that targeted non-Muslim men. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for those attacks.
Like the attack on Sunday, those attacks took place inland from the coast.
Attacks in Kenya have increased since Nairobi sent its troops across the border into Somalia in October 2011.
Early this month fighters from the group attacked a Kenya military base deep in southern Somalia leaving scores of soldiers dead.
Following the attack Kenya carried out several airstrikes in Somalia it claimed targeted fighters from al-Shabab. Kenyan troops have also withdrawn from three towns since the attack in El Adde on January 15.