A group of suspected Shebab Islamist militants have beheaded a Kenyan driver after kidnapping a group of traders on Kenyan soil near the resort island of Lamu, police said Saturday.
The militants kidnapped the traders on Wednesday and took them to the dense Boni forest area in Lamu county. The militants released three of them who were Muslims and beheaded a Christian.
Local police said the body of the victim was found in the forest on Friday. According to police, the survivors said the attackers were well armed and had identified themselves as Shebab members on a mission to fight security forces inside Kenya.
Somalia’s Shebab rebels have vowed to step up attacks on Kenyan soil in retaliation for Kenya’s military presence in Somalia as part of the African Union force supporting the country’s fragile government.
Lamu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been hit by several attacks since mid-June which have left scores dead.
The attacks have fuelled divisions on the coast, a region where radical Islam, ethnic tensions and land disputes are an explosive cocktail. [AFP]