Israel Condemns Kenya Terror Attack

Foreign Ministry statement denounces 'brutal and unwarranted violence' in which terrorists shout 'Allahu Akbar' and kill 58 Christians.

Ari Yashar ,

Kenyan security forces (file)
Kenyan security forces (file)

Israel on Thursday released an official condemnation of the terror attacks in Kenya, which began Sunday and left 58 people dead.

"Israel strongly condemns the two recent terror attacks in the coastal area of Kenya in which dozens of innocent people were killed," read a statement from the Foreign Ministry. 

"Israel denounces in the strongest possible terms the brutal and unwarranted violence that destroys the lives of innocent civilians. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, to the injured and to the Government and people of Kenya," added the statement.

Kenya arrested five suspects on Wednesday, who were believed to be part of the two days of attacks in the coastal town of Mpeketoni and surrounding villages, in which men in military uniforms shouted "Allahu akbar" and proceeded to hunt Christians to shoot, reports Wall Street Journal.

Mpeketoni Deputy Police Commissioner Benson Maisori said the arrests stemmed from "an intelligence-led action," adding that more terrorists are still in the area.

Maisori noted that around 300 security officers from nearby Lamu County have taken part in the operation to track down the terrorists, saying "we have enough forces on the ground."

Kenya's Red Cross announced Wednesday that 58 people had been killed in the course of the attacks.

While the Somalia-based Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al Shabab claimed responsibility for the attacks, and the Kenyan government initially accused them of being behind them, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta reversed that position on Tuesday.

According to Kenyatta, the shootings were "politically motivated ethnic violence against a Kenyan community" and "not an Al Shabab terrorist attack."

The statement has raised tensions in Kenya, which has seen ethnic clashes in the past.

Mpeketoni was established as a government land grant to ethnic Kikuyus, Christians who are a minority in the Muslim majority African nation.