Al-Shabaab militants have claimed responsibility for a terror attack last week (on 6 October) on a residential compound in Mandera, northeastern Kenya, that left six dead and about 27 injured.
“We are behind the Mandera attack in which we killed six Christians,” local and international media reported the group’s military spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Musab, as saying.
In a telephone interview, an Open Doors contact (who asked not to be named) explained: “The al-Shabaab Militants, wearing Kenya army uniforms, entered the housing compound on the pretext of being Kenyan security officers on patrol. Once allowed in, they first hit a mobile money transfer (M-Pesa) shop with an explosive device before throwing more explosives into the compound. The people were caught unawares and were shot as they tried to flee.
“They specifically targeted non-locals (all assumed to be ‘Christians’). Among the six dead is a local barber called Cege. Among the injured is one person who hid in the ceiling but the explosion from the grenades shook him and he fell through the roof and was injured. He is currently in hospital.”
Reports indicated that the Islamist attackers planted landmines all around the compound. One exploded when the security officers attempted to access the building.
“There are increased security personnel in town even as tension remains very high. Residents are declining interviews out of fear for their safety and many are locked in their houses,” report local workers.
“We are greatly saddened by this attack on people perceived by militants to be Christians,” a member of Open Doors’ East Africa team reported. “We ask that supporters pray for the people of Mandera at this time. Please pray for God’s grace to family members of victims and for local security forces as they bring the situation under control. There is a high level of fear among locals and we pray that the Lord will strengthen His children as they once more bear the brunt of militant anger.”
Kenya ranks as number 16 on Open Doors’ 2016 World Watch List. Until recently, there was no history of religious conflict in Kenya, and Christians and Muslims appeared to co-exist in relative peace. However, with radical Islam spilling over into Kenya from Somalia, this has changed – the level of violence perpetrated against Christians, particularly along the Somali border in northeastern Kenya and in the coastal regions, is now very high.
Source: Open Doors
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