Doubts have been raised over claims by Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab it carried out raids which killed at least 29 people on two separate areas on the Kenyan coast.
A ministry official confirmed nine people were killed in one attack and twenty in a second.
The gunmen struck on Saturday (July 5) evening at Hindi close to the town of Lamu and in the Gamba area of Tana River county.
One police official said they found graffiti with the slogan MRC near to the attack which could implicate the coastal separatist group the Mombasa Republic Movement in the killings.
But the MRC has denied any role and blamed the government for using the group as a scapegoat amid mounting concerns over security in the area.
Al-Shabaab – who struck at Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi last year killing 67 people – told Reuters it was behind both the latest attacks.