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US condemns 'heinous' Shabaab attack in Mpeketoni

17 June 2014, 09:00

Washington - The United States on Monday condemned "in the strongest terms" an attack by Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab militants on a coastal town in Kenya that left at least 49 people dead.

"There can be no place for appalling acts of violence such as this in any society," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

The assault on Mpeketoni, near the coastal island and popular tourist resort of Lamu, was the worst attack on Kenyan soil since last September's siege of the Westgate shopping mall in the capital Nairobi.

Militants from Somalia's Shabaab stormed into the town, attacking a police station, hotels and homes.

Psaki offered Washington's "deepest condolences" to the families of those killed and injured in the attack, but said it was believed there were no US casualties.

Washington was working with Nairobi to address security issues, and the US embassy in the city has already imposed tight restrictions on where its staff are allowed to go.

Travel to Nairobi's Eastleigh and to all coastal counties "is limited to mission-essential trips," Psaki said.

But the embassy remains open for normal operations and Washington will "evaluate day by day security and any changes that need to take place," Psaki said.



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