As many as 11 Christians were killed in a Dec. 6 bus attack carried out by the Somali-based radical Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabaab in Kenya, according to a Christian persecution watchdog group.
Police said a group of armed men ambushed a bus traveling from Nairobi to Mandera, a region on the border of Somalia with a large ethnic Somali population.
Wajir County Police Commander Stephen Ngetich told news outlets that the terrorists stopped the bus between Kutulo and Wargadud areas in Wajir County then separated locals from non-local passengers before executing victims.
Reported details of the attack are somewhat inconsistent as the president’s office said that eight people were killed and sources told AFP that 10 people were killed, most of whom were police officers.
Al-Shabaab, a jihadi organization that has fought for years to overthrow the Somali government, claimed responsibility for the attack. The terrorist group has been known to carry out attacks on both the Kenya and Somalia sides of the border.
According to Qatari government run news outlet Al Jazeera, Al-Shabaab claimed its victims included “secret security agents and government employees.”
An unnamed Kenyan police officer told the United States-based nonprofit persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern that the victims were killed for failing to recite the Islamic declaration of faith.
“A passenger bus belonging to Medina Bus Company, traveling between Wajir and Mandera, was attacked by a criminal gang at around [5:30 p.m.] this evening,” the police officer was quoted as saying. “The attack happened at Maadathe area, 5 kilometers [ 3 miles] to Kutulo.”
Morning Star News, a nonprofit group devoted to covering global issues of Christian persecution, reported that 56 people were on board the bus when it was attacked. According to a witness who spoke with the news outlet, assailants separated 11 Kenyan workers from the ethnic Somali passengers on the bus.
“One of the Muslim men gave me Somali attire, and when the separation was being done I went to the side of the Muslims, and immediately we were told to get into the bus,” the survivor was quoted as saying. “As the locals were getting back into the bus, the non-locals who were left behind were fired upon with gunshots.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith