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Christian Community Remains Vulnerable to Future Attacks

02/02/2022 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) –  Four people died in Kenya on Wednesday morning when their vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device suspected to have been planted by al-Shabaab militants. The incident occurred just two days after 13 people died in Arabia, Mandera county, in a similar manner also perpetrated by the terror group.

Kenya’s Northeastern Regional police chief confirmed the attack: “It happened at around 11:00 a.m. in Wajir South, not far from the porous Kenya-Somalia border, when the vehicle ferrying foodstuff on the sandy Wajir-Gerile access road ran over an explosive that we believe beyond doubt was set by the Somali al-Shabaab fighters. Unfortunately, all four occupants have been killed.”

He continued, “We have kicked off an operation to pursue and arrest the suspected terrorists before they cross to Somalia.”

Northeastern Kenya has been a hotbed of terrorism since 2011 when the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) moved into Somalia to fight the al-Shabaab insurgents. The terrorists are known to carry out bombings inside Kenya and kidnap tourists along the coastal region.

A church leader in Mandera explained that the main targets of these vehicle attacks are Christians who have relocated from other parts of the country for work.

“These explosive attacks are coordinated plans to kill believers who traverse the larger northeastern region for reasons of work and business,” the church leader said. “We have also seen buses being stopped and Christians pulled out and killed while Muslims let go. We continue to ask the government to offer us enough security. Right now, Christians are not leaving or coming to Mandera county by road for fear of being attacked.”

While it has been relatively peaceful in Kenya for the last few months, police say “the group could be counter-reacting following the arrest of Rashid Mohamed Salim in DR Congo last week, a young, intelligent man that they relied on for coordinating activities and running propaganda in East and Central Africa, including Mozambique.”

More than ten terrorist attacks have occurred on Kenyan soil since the beginning of the year. The government has issued alerts to the public, urging citizens to remain vigilant as security forces build up surveillance.

A multi-agency security team in Nairobi recently arrested 29-year-old Mohamed Abubakar Hussein, who had used Nokia handsets that are believed to be detonators.

Police stated, “The terror suspect is in our custody, and he is assisting with further investigation. While we have enhanced our security presence across the country, we urge the public to share information on any suspicious activities within their areas. We want to ensure that markets, schools, transport, and worship places are safe.”

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