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Dozens of extremists attacked a Kenyan coastal town for hours, killing those who couldn’t answer questions about Islam and those who didn’t know the Somali language.

Officials and witnesses said Monday that at least 48 people were killed and two hotels were set on fire.

Kenyans Shot Dead

The assault in Mpeketoni began Sunday night as residents watched World Cup matches on TV and lasted until early Monday, with little resistance put up by Kenya’s security forces. Cars and buildings still smoldered at daybreak.

“They came to our house at around 8 p.m. and asked us in Swahili whether we were Muslims. My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head and chest,” said Anne Gathigi.
Another resident, John Waweru, said his two brothers were killed because the attackers did not like that the brothers did not speak Somali.

David Kimaiyo ,Kenya’s top police commander said the death toll was 48. A police spokeswoman said authorities believe that several dozen attackers took part.

Mpeketoni is about 20 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of the tourist center of Lamu.