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Suspected Al Shabaab Militants Kill Three Christians in Northeast Kenya, Sources Say

Suspected members of Islamic extremist group Al Shabaab shot three Christians to death in northeastern Kenya at 1 a.m. on Friday (Feb. 16), sources said.
 
Targeting Kenyans who came from other areas to work in predominantly Somali Wajir, some 100 miles from the Somali border, the suspected terrorists from the Somali rebel group entered the sleeping quarters of personnel at Qarsa Primary School and killed two Christian teachers and the wife of one of them, sources told Morning Star News.
 
After killing Seth Oluoch Odada, his wife Caroline and teacher Kevin Shari, one of the assailants said in the Somali language, “These infidels [non-Muslims] should be wiped out,” a teacher who survived the attack told a worker at Wajir Referral Hospital, the worker told Morning Star News.
 
The pastor of an area church, undisclosed for security reasons, told Morning Star News that Odada and his wife attended his church.
 
“We are very concerned about this selective kind of attack on non-locals who are also Christians in this region,” the pastor said. “Our other church members are not safe. Many of the church members, including teachers, have started fleeing the area to their home villages, and some did not attend the church for the Sunday service.”
 
It was not known if Shari belonged to a church. The bodies of those killed have been transferred to Chiromo Mortuary in Nairobi.
 
The hospital worker said that after shooting the couple, one of the assailants entered the house Shari shared with the surviving teacher. The gunman shot at Shari, and the same bullet struck the hand of the survivor, who fell down and pretended to be dead, the hospital source said, adding that the injured man said the shooter wore a mask typical of Al Shabaab militants.
 
The area pastor said local people believe area residents have joined Al Shabaab.
 
“I think these are the people who killed the three Christians,” he said.
 
Wajir is becoming increasingly dangerous for Christians since Al Shabaab militants appear to have shifted from Mandera, where they have carried out attacks in the past few years before the government recently erected a 10-kilometer wall on the border there, the pastor said.
 
Fear has shaken Christians in Wajir, he said. In Garissa, about 200 miles south of Wajir also near the Somali border, Al Shabaab has also been active. The pastors fellowship in Garissa reported several members did not appear for Sunday services.
 
“We as the pastors fellowship do register our concern to the government to protect Christians living in this volatile northeastern country,” the chairman of the pastor’s fellowship said.
 
The Wajir branch of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers called for the withdrawal of all non-local teachers in Wajir County if the government fails to increase security.  
 
“We cannot close our eyes as non-local teachers are being butchered,” a union official told Morning Star News.
 
Education along Kenya’s border with Somalia has been hobbled after non-Muslim teachers inn 2014 began refusing to work in the region following frequent attacks by Al Shabaab and its sympathizers on non-Muslims.
 
A Wajir police official reportedly said Al Shabaab also set an Improvised Explosive Device on the route to the school, which detonated and hit a security vehicle responding to the attack. No one was injured.
 
Rebels from Al Shabaab, which is allied with Al Qaeda, have launched several attacks in northeast Kenya since Kenyan forces led an African coalition into Somalia against the rebels in October 2011 in response to terrorist attacks on tourists and others on Kenya’s coast.
 
The Islamic extremist militants have also recently attacked in Kenya’s coastal area, killing four Christians on Sept. 6, 2017.
 
Kenya ranked 32nd on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
 
 

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit http://morningstarnews.org/resources/aid-agencies/ for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.  
 
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Photo courtesy: Morning Star News

Publication date: February 20, 2018

 

 

 

 




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