UK & World News
Kenya: 48 Dead As World Cup Screening Hit
Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for attacks on hotels and bars in Kenya in which 48 people have been killed.
A group of gunmen entered the western coastal town of Mpeketoni on minibuses and started "shooting people around in town", the interior ministry said.
Football fans watching a World Cup game were targeted, while three hotels, a bank and a petrol station were also hit.
The Kenyan government confirmed 48 people were killed.
A statement for Al Shabaab, Somalia's al Qaeda-linked insurgents, said the attack was revenge for the "Kenyan government's brutal oppression of Muslims".
It added: "Foreigners with any regard for their safety and security should stay away from Kenya or suffer the bitter consequences of their folly. You have been forewarned!"
The assault began at around 8pm on Sunday, with gunshots reported up to four hours later.
"The attackers were so many and were all armed with guns," witness Meshack Kimani told Reuters. "They entered the video hall where we were watching a World Cup match and shot indiscriminately at us.
"They targeted only men but I was lucky, I escaped by hiding behind the door."
Other witnesses said the gunmen targeted non-Muslims and those who did not speak Somali.
District deputy commissioner Benson Maisori said: "There were around 50 attackers, heavily armed in three vehicles, and they were flying the Shabaab flag.
"They were shouting in Somali and shouting 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Greatest)."
Some 20 buildings were reportedly gutted after a series of fires were started.
The Kenyan government said the nearby settlement of Kibaoni was also raided.
Sunday's assault was the worst in Kenya since last September, when al Shabaab gunmen attacked Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, leaving 67 dead.
Mpeketoni lies on the mainland some 20 miles (30km) southwest of Lamu island, a popular tourist destination and Unesco World Heritage site.
The Kenya Tourism Board said the latest attack took place in an area with no international tourist facilities and that no tourists were in the area when the gunmen struck.
In May, explosions in Nairobi and Mombasa followed a decision by Britain, the US, France and Australia to issue warnings about travel to the east African country.
At least 400 tourists cut short their holidays and left hotels along the Indian Ocean coast.
Kenya called the alerts "unfriendly", saying they would increase panic and play into the hands of those behind the gun and grenade assaults.