NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Somali extremist group has claimed responsibility for recent attacks on villages along Kenya's northern coast that left 60 dead, but Kenya's president says al-Shabab was not behind it.
President Uhuru Kenyatta blames local political networks. In a national address, Kenyatta says evidence indicates the motive for the killings was to evict the villagers and grab the land.
Still, other Kenyan leaders say the second night of attacks against a Christian community seemed designed to try to inflame Christian-Muslim tensions. The killers singled out non-Muslims, shooting them point-blank or slitting their throats,
Al-Shabab vows the attacks will continue in retaliation for what it considers Kenya's oppression of innocent Muslims.
An office of Christian broadcaster Trans World Radio was destroyed in the first attack, but TWR spokesman Jon Hill says the office was empty at the time. He says the Christian radio station, located on Lamu island 18 miles offshore, continues to broadcast, with an emphasis on the need for peace and reconciliation.
230-a-03-(Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, in national broadcast)-"al-Shabab terrorist attack"-Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says the attacks on Christian villages arose from local politics. (17 Jun 2014)
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231-a-05-(Abdullahi Abdi, chairman of Kenya's National Muslim Leaders Forum, at news conference)-"express our grief"-Abdullahi Abdi, chairman of Kenya's National Muslim Leaders Forum, says the whole nation is in mourning over the attacks that killed 60 people. (17 Jun 2014)
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233-a-11-(Jon Hill, spokesman for Trans World Radio, in AP interview)-"praying for them"-Jon Hill, spokesman for Trans World Radio, says a Muslim extremist group claimed responsibility for the attacks and has threatened more. (17 Jun 2014)
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232-a-09-(Jon Hill, spokesman for Trans World Radio, in AP interview)-"able to broadcast"-Jon Hill, spokesman for Trans World Radio, says it suffered property damage in the first attack. (17 Jun 2014)
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