While the threat of random savagery by Islamists appears to have fallen off somewhat in the Middle East, in Africa attacks are continuing on a regular basis.
Members of al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based terrorist group, are believed to have been behind the attack in which armed men marched nine Christians off a bus in Kenya and shot them because they would not recite the Islamic Shahada, or statement of faith.
The militants waylaid the vehicle run by Medina Bus Company on Dec. 6 as it travelled from Nairobi to the city of Mandera, close to the Somalian-Kenyan border. The jihadists stopped the vehicle near Kotulo in Wajir County before boarding it, according to International Christian Concern (ICC).
Some 11 Christians were targeted and nine have been confirmed dead. Two others are unaccounted for. The slain passengers, who are not thought to have been from the local area, were shot at close range.
Mayor of Mandera, Ali Roba, said in a statement: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the heinous bus attack near Kotulo, Wajir today around 5pm where 10 passengers were killed or are missing. I am informed that the suspected al-Shabaab fighters cowardly segregated non-locals heading to Mandera from Nairobi.”
A Kenyan police officer told ICC the attack happened 5km south of Kotulo, in an area called Maadathe.
ICC said the two missing passengers are presumed dead.
The latest tragedy echoes a similar attack on two Kenyan men last year who were killed by gunmen for failing to say Islamic prayers.
In 2014, 28 teachers travelling to Nairobi for Christmas were killed after being forced to recite the Islamic statement of faith.
Last month al-Shabaab militants also attacked construction workers in Mandera.