Extremists launched a gun and grenade attack on a church in northeastern Kenya, killing 6 while members of the church remain fearful and traumatized. The attack occurred in the early hours on Thursday as they militant group Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for the attack.
Rebels from the militant group attacked the church which is located in the which took place at a residential compound in Mandera. Al-Shabaab spokesperson stated that the motive of the attack was to drive away Christians from the area. One of the survivors in the attack said: “The loud grenade woke me up, and I heard one of the attackers saying the ‘infidels’ should leave the Muslim area of Mandera. There were loud cries for help as the attackers were shooting from all directions.”
A pastor of another church in the same area said that two among the fatalities were his church members. “Two of my church members were brutally murdered, and then their heads were chopped off,” he stated. “The government needs to beef up security, especially in areas where non-locals who are mostly Christians reside, otherwise we are opting to leave the area for the sake of our lives.”
In line with Open Doors’ World Watch List Kenya is 16th most dangerous country for Christians. Terror group Al-Shabaab has been targeting Christians since 2011, as they have carried out a number of other attacks beginning from October 2011.