By KALUME KAZUNGU
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Four people have been beheaded by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in Lamu West.
A senior administrator in Hindi Division who spoke to the Nation Wednesday morning said about 30 heavily armed men in military gear raided Silini-Mashambani Village at around 6.30pm and beheaded a man who was cutting timber in a forest just metres from his village on Tuesday.
The other attack took place at around 1.30am Wednesday when the militants raided Bobo Village, about three kilometres from Silini.
According to the administrator, the attackers, who were armed with AK-47 rifles, went from house to house ordering residents to come out of their houses before beheading three men on the spot.
TERRORISTS OR CONFLICT
“Four people have been killed. A group of heavily armed men both in military gear and plain clothes, ambushed two people who were cutting timber at Silini at around 6.30pm Tuesday,’ said the administrator by phone.
He added that one managed to escape while the other one was beheaded. The militants then invaded Bobo Village at 1.30am Wednesday and beheaded three men before fleeing into the forest. “As we speak, police have already arrived at the scene and taken the bodies to Mpeketoni Sub-County Hospital,” he said.
County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo confirmed the killings and said they were not sure whether the attacks were terrorist-related or due to conflict.
“Yes. It is true but we are yet to establish whether those who conducted the attacks were Al-Shabaab or something else. It is fishy that the attackers were calling people by their names before beheading them. My officers are already on the ground. I am also heading there,” said Mr Kitiyo.
The killings come barely two weeks after four people were beheaded in Maleli Village in Witu Division, Lamu West. The incident occurred on August 18.
Meanwhile, tension is high in Hindi town and its environs following the killing of the four men.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the town to protest about the deteriorating security and rampant killings by militants.
The residents, who were carrying branches, ran and chanted and cried while calling on the government to find a permanent solution to the insecurity.
They were heard cursing and condemning the killings of innocent people in the county and asked that the government take security matters more seriously.
The residents also burnt tyres on the road, causing a traffic jam for almost half an hour before General Service Unit (GSU) officers came in and dispersed the protesters.
On July 5, 2014, 13 people were killed by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in the same area in Hindi, including Roka-Kibibobi and Bobo, prompting residents to demonstrate.