Two Christians Killed in Al-Shabaab Attack
Another Christian Abducted by Terrorist Group in Kenya
03/13/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on Wednesday, March 11, two Christians were killed and another was abducted when suspected al-Shabaab militants attacked two vehicles on the road between Elwak and Mandera in northeastern Kenya. This region has become a common location for the terror group to conduct attacks, in which they target non-local Christians.
In the first incident, the Somali-based terror group ambushed a passenger bus near the Jabi-bar area, ordering all of the passengers to disembark before the militants began profiling them to identify non-Muslims.
While speaking with ICC, a Mandera security officer confirmed, “The attackers were looking for non-local passengers traveling from Nairobi in order to kill them. The current trend of terror activity in Mandera confirms that. They abducted the only Christian on the bus, the mechanic, and allowed the others to continue with their journey.”
While Kenyan forces pursue the attackers, the status of the abducted Christian remains unknown.
During the second attack, which took place an hour later in the same location, two non-local medical transporters were killed and their truck was burned. They were ferrying pharmaceutical drugs to Mandera, traversing the violence-prone region near the porous Kenya-Somalia border. In a statement, the governor of Mandera said, “Later on the same spot, a truck carrying KEMSA drugs was stopped. The driver and turn boy who are both non-locals were taken away. It was later reported that the lorry has been burnt down to ashes.”
The security officer confirmed to ICC that the “two non-locals, [the] driver and his assistant, had been killed by shooting and their bodies [were] dumped on the roadside.”
This attack comes at a time when Kenya and Somalia are engaged in a border dispute after a war involving the Somali forces and the semi-autonomous region of Jubbaland forces spilled over to Mandera. Christians are worried that, unless security is heightened, they will continue to be targeted. A pastor in Mandera said, “Over the last two weeks, we have been living in fear because of the insecurity posed by the two forces from Somalia who are seen in town on military cars. We are not quite sure if they are forces or militants. We ask for prayers of protection over Christians in northeastern Kenya.”
Kenya has witnessed six terror attacks targeting vehicles in the last four months, leading to the deaths of 21 Christians. On December 6, 2019, 11 non-local individuals were killed when al-Shabaab attacked a passenger bus in Wajir. In total, 10 Christians have been killed in the region from different terror activities in 2020 alone.
Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, said, “Al-Shabaab is following through with its threat to target and attack non-local Christians. They have increased this type of attack greatly already this year. If this continues, 2020 could be one of the deadliest for Kenyan Christians in recent history. Though I commend the Kenyan government for taking this situation seriously, they must figure out a better way to stop these attacks before dozens more Christians are killed.”