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Armed men burn police camp in Kenya

By on July 8, 2014

Armed assailants have attacked a camp of police reservists and burned down nearby homes and businesses, a regional official said on Tuesday.

Reports says there were no deaths this time.

In the nearby coastal town of Lamu, residents also reported finding leaflets strewn about, apparently from a Somali Islamist group, threatening Christians and the government.

The government has promised to track down those behind attacks on coastal towns and villages, most of which have been deadly, but worried locals say the repeated assaults show the state is not doing enough or is powerless to stop them.

“The assailants attacked a camp belonging to Kenya police reservists in Hindi and burnt it down before they burnt down other houses and businesses in Amu Ranch,” Lamu County Commissioner Miiri Njenga told Reuters.

The attackers, who struck late on Monday, also set vehicles on fire.

Raising tensions, residents of Lamu, a historic Arab trading port and capital of the county, said leaflets were spread in the town warning Christians and the government not to victimise Muslims, without saying what could happen if they did.

The leaflets, which were pinned to electricity polls and trees or simply found strewn on the ground, bore the emblem of the al Shabaab Islamist group, which claims most attacks and has vowed to drive Kenyan and African Union forces out of Somalia.

The coast, notably around Lamu, has a history of land disputes where traditional coastal peoples accuse ethnic groups from up country of taking their property. Among relative newcomers are Kikuyus, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ethnic group.

The government has said recent attacks had nothing to do with al Shabaab and instead blamed local groups – seen as directed at their political opponents. Police have also suggested a coastal separatist group could have a role.

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