At least 49 people were killed when al-Shabab militants from Somalia stormed into a Kenyan coastal town and launched a major assault on a police station, hotels and government offices, officials said on Monday.

Around 50 heavily-armed gunmen drove into the town of Mpeketoni, near the coastal island of Lamu, late on Sunday, officials said.

Witnesses added they first attacked a police station, before starting to randomly shoot at civilians, some of whom had been watching the World Cup in local bars and hotels. District deputy commissioner Benson Maisori said several buildings in the town — which is around 100 km from the border with Somalia — were burned down. — AFP