Three killed in suspected Islamist attack in northern Kenya

MOMBASA (Reuters) - At least three men were killed in a village in Kenya’s coastal Lamu county in the early hours of Sunday during a raid by al Shabaab Islamist militants, police and the group said.

Gunmen speaking Somali came to Pandanguo village searching for men, a survivor said. They interrogated those they found and killed some, he said from a local hospital.

The village sits about 40 km (25 miles) inland from the Indian Ocean town of Lamu, which is popular with Western tourists, and is 100 km from the border with Somalia.

“They asked me questions in the Somali language. When I struggled to respond, they shot me but hit my hand,” said the victim, who asked not to be named.

Al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab said in a statement the group was behind the Lamu attack.

Al Shaabab has said in the past its frequent attacks in Kenya are punishment for Kenya sending its troops into Somalia as part of an African Union peacekeeping force.

In 2014, at least 60 people were killed in the area in a spate of attacks that targeted non-Muslim men. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for those attacks.

Like the attack on Sunday, those attacks took place inland from the coast.

Additional reporting by Feisal Omar; Editing by Edith Honan and Raissa Kasolowsky