NAIROBI, Kenya – Seven people were killed when gunmen attacked a bus at the Kenyan coast where previous attacks had left 87 people dead, the Kenya Red Cross said Saturday.
The attack Friday night came at Corner Mbaya, 3 miles from the coastal town of Witu in Lamu county, the humanitarian group said. Two of those killed were security officials and five were civilians, the Red Cross said. Authorities believe many of the passengers in the 52-seater bus fled into a nearby forest.
Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants from Somalia claimed responsibility for the attack.
"The attack was carried out in response to the Kenyan government's claim that all the areas that have recently been subject for attacks were secured after having deployed troops," the group said.
Al-Shabab said the attackers were sending a message to Kenya that they cannot stop the group's operations in coastal areas.
Al-Shabab has vowed to carry out attacks on Kenyan soil to avenge the presence of Kenyan troops fighting the militants in Somalia. In September, four al-Shabab gunmen attacked an upscale in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, killing 67 people.
Al-Shabab has also claimed responsibility for previous attacks along the coast but the Kenyan government claims local political networks are responsible.