Intriguing and conspiratorial accounts have emerged from local residents caught up in Sundayâ€™s Mpeketoni attack with some witnesses claiming a masked white man commanded the attackers.
Witnesses also reported seeing about 50 heavily armed gunmen with flags associated with Al Shabaab. Some witnesses allege that police fled with them into bushes where they stayed for hours as heavy explosions shook the town.
The Standard crew saw the body of a police officer in uniform in the bush indicating the attackers could have pursued victims into the thickets to finish them off. The alleged white man and his henchmen were masked but his distinctive pale white skin stood out from his exposed hands, neck and eyes in the street lighting.
He allegedly wielded a bazooka.
â€œWe have reports that one of the attackers was a white man. Several eyewitnesses we have interviewed say they saw the white man,â€ said Lamu County MP Shakilla Abdalla, who spoke to The Standard on phone from Mpeketoni.
But the eyewitnesses did not say what language the alleged commander spoke except alleging he appeared to be the one commanding the operation.
Some residents claimed that they had supplied information to the National Intelligence Service (NIS) over an impending attack but the County Deputy Governor Eric Mugo, who lives in Mpeketoni, said that he was not aware of such reports.
–Adapted from the Standard Newspaper