Al-Shabab attacks hit Kenya`s tourism, health crisis looming over Mpeketoni
As al-Shabab militants attacked the coastal town of Mpeketoni killing dozens within two days, Kenya has witnessed the highest death toll since Nairobi`s Westgate shopping mall was raided by the terror group last year killing 68.
Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Mpeketoni, Lamu: As al-Shabab militants attacked the coastal town of Mpeketoni killing dozens within two days, Kenya has witnessed the highest death toll since Nairobi`s Westgate shopping mall was raided by the terror group in November last year killing 68.
Health crisis is looming large over the coastal town with the only mortuary in Mpketoni choc-a-bloc with dead bodies as al Shabab militants attacked two villages on Monday night and set ablaze many houses, reported a local news site.
To avert the health danger due to rotting bodies, the authorities have set up a temporary morgue to embalm the corpses. But given the increasing number of dead bodies, the task is tough and authorities are urging people to recognise their relatives to ease the congestion, added the report.
Also, the tourism industry has suffered a major blow after the attacks with the terror group issuing a specific warning saying, ‘Kenya is now officially a war zone and any tourists visiting the country do so at their own peril.’
According to a report in Daily Mail, the number of tourists has plummetted to 80 percent of the normal tourist presence with some tour operators suspending travels to Kenya in May after the first of the bombings.
Kenya, which is known for tourist attractions like its beaches, and wildlife, has been badly hit by the terror fears with recent increase in attacks by al Shabab.
Having killed more than 65 people within two days near the coastal town of Mpeketoni, Somali terror outfit al-Shabab continued to unleash terror as 12 women were reportedly kidnapped on Tuesday.
The abduction came on the heels of two consecutive attacks on villages near the coastal town of Mpeketoni within two days, claimed by al-Shabab that killed at least 15 people overnight and 48 people the day before, when Islamists attacked hotles and a police station.
Claiming the attacks, the al-Shabab said it was in retaliation to the involvement of Kenyan troops in Somalia.
Al-Shabab added that the attacks were in response to Kenya`s "brutal oppression of Muslims in Kenya," including the killings of Muslim scholars in Mombasa.
The terror outfit warned that the raid will continue "as you continue to invade our lands and oppress innocent Muslims."
Despite the al-Shabab claim of carrying out the raid, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday blamed "local political networks" of staging the attacks.
"This... was not an al-Shebab attack. Evidence indicates that local political networks were involved in the planning and execution of a heinous crime," the AFP quoted him as saying in a televised address to the nation.
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 increasing violence.