The al-Qaeda East Africa affiliate al-Shabaab terrorist group attacks a bus again in Kenya's Wajir State in search for Christians, a report says.
The International Christian Concern (ICC) reported that al-Shabaab has been "regularly targeting Christians" along the border of Kenya's Northeastern region near Somalia. The bus recently attacked by the terrorist group thankfully had "no Christians onboard and nobody was killed."
"We were approaching a place called Darkut when six fully armed men stopped the bus. They fired in the air and ordered all our passengers from Mandera to alight. They separated men and women and started asking if there were people who were not Somalis. They also wanted to know if we carried any civil servants. Fortunately, they were not able to identify any," recounted the bus' conductor.
However, the terrorists left only after ransacking the bus, stealing what they can from passengers, and robbing the conductor of his collections.
"They demanded the money that the passengers had paid for fare, and I handed it over, all of it, 40,000Ksh. That's when they left," the conductor recalled. This converts to about $364 USD.
The ICC said the militant group have already "killed hundreds of non-local passengers by separating them from Muslims and shooting them dead."
"The porous border between Kenya and Somalia continues to be a problem for Kenyan Christians. Al-Shabaab uses porous areas to move into Kenyan territory, target Christians, then retreat back to the safety of Somalian soil," revealed ICC Regional Manager For Africa Nathan Johnson.
"Their brutal and evil tactics of targeting and executing passengers on buses merely for being Christians is one of the clearest forms of persecution taking place anywhere in the world today," he added.
The ICC, in its report, called for a solution "to stop the menace of al-Shabaab" in the face of the security threat considering local police have admitted already monopolizing the area by not only halting traveling buses but by also ""collecting livestock by force from helpless pastoralists in the name of Zakat."
"Al-Shabaab [has] taken control of half of the Northeastern region and occupied strategic locations due to their undeterred movement across the border and within the area," stated Mandera Governor Captain Ali Roba last January 11 during a security meeting.
Police are currently pursuing al-Shabaab militants involved in the attack, local outlet Garowe Online reported.
Christianity Today reported last December that Kenyan Christians actually feared traveling for the season due to al-Shabaab bus attacks. Kenyans were actually "bracing for further attacks by al-Shabaab as the United States carries out plans to withdraw its troops from Somalia, which broke off diplomatic relations with Kenya on Tuesday, saying Kenya was meddling in its elections."
Christianity Today reported that Christians and Muslims in the area have joined hands against the terrorist group through interfaith dialogue since both religions have been a target of their attacks.
Al-Shabaab killed 28 Muslims after hijacking a bus traveling from Mandera in November 2014 and then again in December 2015 "after Muslim passengers refused to identify the Christians among them to the attackers" prior to the December 2020 series of attacks on Christians, Christianity Today exposed.