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7 killed in new Kenya coast attack

Seven people were killed when gunmen attacked a bus on the Kenyan coast where previous attacks left 87 people dead, the Kenya Red Cross said today.

The attack happened at Corner Mbaya, three miles (5km) from the coastal town of Witu in Lamu county, last night.

Two of those killed were security officials and five were civilians, the humanitarian group said .

Authorities believe many of the passengers on the 52-seater bus fled into a nearby forest.

Al Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants from Somalia claimed responsibility for the attack.

"The attack was carried out in response to the Kenyan government's claim that all the areas that have recently been subject for attacks were secured after having deployed troops," the group said.

Al-Shabab said the attackers were sending a message to Kenya that they cannot stop the group's operations in coastal areas.

Al-Shabab has vowed to carry out attacks on Kenyan soil to avenge the presence of Kenyan troops fighting the militants in Somalia. In September, four al-Shabab gunmen attacked an upscale in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, killing 67 people.

Al-Shabab has also claimed responsibility for previous attacks along the coast but the Kenyan government claims local political networks are responsible.

Despite the heavy deployment of security forces, including the Kenyan army, following attacks in the region in June and early July, the raiders have continued to attack seemingly at will.

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