Kenya: 6 killed as al-Shabab claims to target Christians

The Somalia-based Al-Shabab, through its Andulus radio station, claimed responsibility for the attack.

By: AP | Nairobi | Published:October 6, 2016 6:39 pm
Kenya, Al Shabab, Kenya attack, Al shabab attack, Kenya Al Shabab FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 file photo, hundreds of newly trained al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area some 18 km south of Mogadishu, in Somalia. War-weary Somalis are trying to relax and rebuild their country after decades of violence, but the homegrown Islamic extremists al-Shabab keep striking at the heart of its seaside capital, killing scores of people so far this year. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)

Suspected Islamic extremists killed six people in an attack in northern Kenya near the border with Somalia, an official said Thursday, while the al-Shabab extremist group claimed it had targeted Christians.

The gunmen were targeting 33 non-Muslims living in a residential block but a quick response by security forces saved other lives, Mandera County Governor Ali Roba said in a statement. He said the attack occurred near the Bulla area in the early morning.

The Somalia-based Al-Shabab, through its Andulus radio station, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The station quoted an unnamed al-Shabab official saying: “It was a well-planned attack which targeted Christian members in Mandera … We have eliminated the enemy members (who) were targeted.”

Kenya has experienced a wave of attacks from al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida. Al-Shabab has vowed retribution on Kenya for sending troops to Somalia since 2011 to fight the extremists who are waging an insurgency against Somalia’s weak western-backed government.

Both Mandera County and Garissa County, which border Somalia, have been targeted by al-Shabab. The worst attack was in April 2015, when al-Shabab gunmen killed 148, most of them students, at Garissa University.

Suspected al-Shabab gunmen killed at least six people when they shot at two buses traveling in Mandera County in July. Al-Shabab extremists also hijacked a bus traveling through Mandera County in November 2014 and killed 28 non-Muslims on board. In December 2014, they killed 36 quarry workers in Mandera town.