Kenyatta: Politics, ethnic tensions to blame

More than 60 people were killed in gun battles in the past 48 hours in the east African country.

FILE: President Uhuru Kenyatta dismissed claims that al-Shabaab was responsible for the latest violence in his country. Picture: AFP.

KENYA - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday dismissed claims that Islamist group al-Shabaab is responsible for the latest outbreak of violence.

More than 60 people were killed in gun battles in the past 48 hours in the east African country.

Addressing the nation after fresh overnight attacks in the coastal area of Lamu, Kenyatta pinned the blame on ethnic and political tensions.

The latest attack comes after gunmen swept into the remote village of Mpeketoni on Sunday evening.

They gunned down men in the area, and burnt hotels and police stations.

Monday evening's attack resulted in over 15 deaths, despite the deployment of troops and additional security personnel.

The president said authorities in Lamu knew of the impending attack but failed to act.

"The attack in Lamu was well-planned, orchestrated and politically motivated ethnic violence against a Kenyan community, with the intention of profiling and evicting them for political reasons. This therefore was not an al-Shabaab terrorist attack."

Kenyatta added a political network was responsible but failed to substantiate.