Originally published in barnabasfund
Around 50 people were killed in an al-Shabaab attack on a mainly Christian town in Kenya; the gunmen went door to door questioning occupants about their faith and shooting non-Muslim men.
The militants descended on Mpeketoni, a coastal town in Lamu district near the border with Somalia, on Sunday evening (15 June). They threw explosives into the local police station before looting its armoury and going on a shooting spree throughout the town, shouting “Allahu Akhbar” (“Allah is great”).
Resident Ali Lalo Uweso said: “The attackers entered house to house shooting the men. We were locked up in our houses for close to eight hours in fear as gunshots and explosions were heard outside.
“The militants asked if the men were Muslim and if they spoke Somali, singling out those who responded in the negative.”
A pastor told Morning Star News: “The attackers entered my house, took my boy out of the house, then killed him by shooting him, leaving my wife and daughters inside.”
Six children of pastors were said to be among the dead.
The gunmen also targeted people who were watching a World Cup football match at bars and hotels. Women were ordered to watch as their men were killed.
Several buildings, including hotels, restaurants, banks and government offices, were torched. The violence continued with raids on villages around Mpeketoni on Monday night in which at least 15 people were killed.
Somali-based Islamists al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying their “operations in Kenya will continue”. They have carried out numerous attacks on Kenyan soil since the country sent troops into Somalia in 2011 to fight the militants.
The attack on Mpeketoni had echoes of the militants’ siege on Westgate shopping centre in September 2013, in which around 70 people were killed; al-Shabaab targeted non-Muslims, sparing those who could demonstrate some evidence of Islamic faith, such quoting verses from the Quran or reciting the Islamic creed.
The group has also been behind a number of church attacks in Kenya.