Kenyan forces shoot dead 5 suspects in World Cup viewing party attack

(CNN) — Kenyan forces shot dead five people allegedly involved in an attack this week that turned a World Cup viewing party into a bloodbath.

The five were killed Thursday in the coastal town of Mpeketoni as they tried to escape Kenyan forces, the ministry said Friday.

Authorities detained additional suspects in the raid, including the owner and driver of a vehicle used in the attack on soccer viewers that killed at least 48 people, said national police chief David Kimaiyo.

Another suspect, who was operating social media accounts allegedly used by Al-Shabaab, was also arrested, he said.

Kenyan authorities aggressively looked for suspects in Sunday’s attack on the soccer viewers in the same town.

Armed men stormed the city center, shooting and hacking people to death before moving into a residential area, where they went from door to door, the witnesses said.

Al-Shabaab, the al Qaeda-linked militant group active in Somalia, was not responsible, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said earlier this week.

Instead, he blamed local political networks.

“The attack was well planned, orchestrated and politically motivated ethnic violence against the Kenyan community with the intention of victimization for political reasons. This therefore was not an Al-Shabaab terrorist attack,” Kenyatta said.

The heavily armed gunmen, many in military uniforms, attacked hotels, a restaurant, gas station, bank, police station and a government office, according to the Kenyan Red Cross. Video from the scene showed burned-out vehicles and walls pockmarked by bullets.

Mpeketoni sits to the west of the Kenya-Somalia border, where the Kenyan army is fighting troops loyal to the al Qaeda-linked militant group.

The attack in Mpeketoni is the deadliest attack in Kenya since Al-Shabab militants stormed Nairobi’s Westgate Mall last year, killing dozens.

CNN’s Joyce Joseph, Lillian Leposo, Ralph Ellis and Azadeh Ansari contributed to this report.

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