Kenyan troops kill five suspected attackers after coastal massacres: ministry

NAIROBI (AFP) - Kenyan security forces have killed five people suspected of involvement in massacres earlier this week in a coastal town and nearby village, the interior ministry said.

In a statement released via Twitter, the ministry said five "suspected attackers shot dead while escaping", adding that three AK-47 assault rifles as well as ammunition were recovered at the scene.

A senior Lamu county official confirmed that the Kenyan army had been deployed in the area following Sunday night's massacre in Mpeketoni, in which around 50 people were killed, and the attack in a nearby village the following night, in which officials say nine people died.

"There was a heavy operation in the area of Bodahai in Lamu county. The government deployed soldiers in that area in the morning," he told AFP.

The attacks were claimed by Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab, although President Uhuru Kenyatta has instead blamed the carnage on "local political networks" along with an "opportunist network of other criminal gangs".