The black flags of Islam heralded the arrival of Muslim terrorists in a small town in Kenya where terrorists killed at least 48 people overnight in an area known for its resorts. Witnesses say that the terrorists gave residents religion and language tests before slaughtering those who answered incorrectly. The marauders did not spare non-Muslims or those who did not speak Somali. Anne Gathigi said that the terrorists killed her husband at their home when he professed his Christian faith. John Waeru said his two brothers were killed because the victims did not speak Somali.
The attack occurred for hours in the town of Mpeketoni, near the Somali border. There was little or no known response on the part of local security forces. The marauders came to the town on June 15 while many residents and tourists were watching World Cup football matches, according to local reports.
A local police official, David Kimaiyo told a Kenyan newspaper, “We are yet to know if they were al-Shabab militants but so far we have 48 bodies including a police officer. Our officers on the ground are collecting more which indicates the toll could rise.”
The Muslim terrorists burned residences during the assault. According to a BBC report, about 50 attackers rode into Mpeketoni and raided a police station before setting other buildings on fire as they machine-gunned their victims. Other reports suggest that the same terrorists attacked town near Mpeketoni. “There are six bodies here, a man and a child in their house, four lying on the road,” Mohammed Hassan, a resident of Kibaoni, told Kenya’s Daily Nation. “The attackers were so many and were all armed with guns. They entered the video hall where we were watching a World Cup match and shot indiscriminately at us,” Meshack Kimani told Reuters. “They targeted only men but I was lucky. I escaped by hiding behind the door.”
This was the deadliest terrorist assault in Kenya since September 2013 when Somalian al-Shabaab terrorists killed 67 people at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi. Al-Shabaab has vowed retaliation against Kenya following the latter’s military intervention in neighoring Somalia in 2011.
There had been warnings by security experts that Muslim terrorists might exploit the fervor of soccer fans by attacking crowds as they watched World Cup games. This was the case in Uganda in 2010. It was at the Kyadondo Rugby Club in Kampala, Uganda, that al-Shabaab terrorists killed 74 people by detonating explosive devices. “It is only the al-Shabaab that we can suspect because they are the ones that can attack innocent people like that,” Lamu County Commissioner Stephen Ikua said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.