Suspected members of Somalia’s al Shabaab Islamist group beheaded at least three men in an attack on a Kenyan village, authorities said, a month after nine were similarly killed nearby.
“They were slaughtered. Their heads were cut from their bodies,” said a police source, asking not to be named.
Police said four bodies were found at Maleli village in Kenya’s coastal county Lamu. Area county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said he was aware of three deaths.
“A group of armed suspects raided and killed three locals. All three were men,” Kitiyo told Reuters, adding the suspects set houses ablaze before disappearing into a nearby forest.
“We cannot speculate, but from previous attacks, the nature and style of this attack can only be associated with these al Shabaab criminals.”
In July suspected al Shabaab fighters beheaded nine men in villages near Maleli and killed three police officers in another attack in the area.
The al Qaeda-linked group aims to overthrow Somalia’s UN-backed government and impose its own strict interpretation of Islam. They have intensified attacks in Kenya since it sent troops into Somalia in 2011.
They also claim responsibility for a series of cross-border attacks in recent months, including a spate of roadside bombings targeting security forces.