Gunmen attack bars in northeast Kenya, at least 2 dead

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 31, 2011 6:38 PM
Gunmen attack bars in northeast Kenya, at least 2 dead

GARISSA, Kenya (Reuters) - At least two people were killed when gunmen sprayed bullets at New Year revelers at two bars in northeastern Kenya Sunday, a witness and police said, the latest in a wave of attacks near the border with Somalia.

A worker at one of the pubs in Garissa town said gunmen approached in a vehicle and fired at the bars then drove away.

"The guys fired from the vehicle. They first shot the guard, (and then) shot more bullets at those who tried to leave and those who were at the entrance," said the witness who declined to be named.

North Eastern provincial police commander Leo Nyongesa said two people had been confirmed dead, adding security forces were still gathering information on the number of wounded.

"I can see ambulances and the military. Local police have taken two bodies and four people who had gunshot wounds to Garissa general hospital," a Reuters photographer said.

Relatives at the hospital that a third person had died, he said, in the attack that struck at midnight.

Last week two grenades were hurled at a club in Wajir-district in northeastern Kenya, wounding at least seven people.

Kenyan forces crossed into Somalia in October to attack the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants, whom it blamed for a spate of kidnappings and cross-border attacks on its soil.

Al Shabaab has denied responsibility for the kidnappings and has vowed major retaliation against Kenya.

Kenyan police said Saturday they were looking for 15 people whom they said had information on al Shabaab.

(Reporting by Noor Ali and Daud Yussuf; Writing by Yara Bayoumy)