Four Kenyan Christians beheaded in latest Islamist atrocity
Islamist militants went from house to house in villages on Kenya’s north coast on Wednesday, dragging out victims, shooting them and then beheading them.
Witnesses to the horror said four died in total and called on police to act after they accused security services of being slow to respond to the threat.
The attack from the Somali group Al Shabaab in Lamu County comes a month after 12 people were killed in a similar incident in the region.
Lamu County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said around 30 heavily armed assailants surrounded the victims’ houses before beheading three villagers in Silini-Mashambani, with another killed in Boko village, Reuters reported.
The second attack in a month caused fury among the local Christian population who protested at the government’s lack of response. One local resident Joseph Muchemi told International Christian Concern they were demanding at least one police post be set for every villages to protect locals.
Pastor Bernard Baya told International Christian Concern (ICC): ‘The people here have been protesting the state of insecurity where only Christians are being killed. Roads have been blocked and tyres are being burned everywhere as the police try to calm the residents.
“I have heard some protesters say that they would break into the mosques and burn them down because the Muslims have been killing their friends like chicken.”
The militant group is affiliated to Al Qaeda and rose to prominence in 2013 after it claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on Westgate Mall where 67 people died and then on Garissa University College in 2015 where 148 died.
In a spate of recent attacks Al Shabaab has targeted Christians near the Somali border focusing on churches, passenger buses, police stations, shopping centers, communication masts and aid workers.
ICC says in many of these attacks the militants separate the Christians from any Muslims before executing the Christians.
ICC’s regional manager for Africa, Nathan Johnson, said: “The Kenyan government needs to show a much greater desire to protect its people. This is the third such attack in less than two months, and all in the same area.
“If the government isn’t willing to protect its people from al-Shabaab’s reign of terror, then they will lose the fight to terrorism. We pray for the families of the deceased and for peace to come to this region.”