published Monday, June 16th, 2014

4 dead, hotels set on fire near Kenya tourist town

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenyan officials say that al-Shabab militants have attacked a town just outside a popular coastal tourist resort, setting two hotels on fire and killing four people.

Kenya's National Disaster Operations Center said military surveillance planes were launched after the late Sunday night attack.

The Interior Ministry said that at about 8 p.m. two minivans entered the town and started shooting. Officials blamed Somali militants from al-Shabab. The attack came as residents were watching World Cup matches in hotel bars.

Police commander Hamaton Mwaliko estimated the death toll at four people.

The attack occurred in the town of Mpeketoni, which is about 30 miles (20 kilometers) southwest of the tourist center of Lamu. Tourism in Mpeketoni is mostly local, with few foreigners visiting the region.

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