Members of the al-Shabab militant organization shot at a bus in Mandera, Kenya, forcing it to stop. Once the militants boarded the bus, they attempted to separate Muslim and Christian passengers, intending to kill the Christians on board, the BBC reported.
“We even gave some non-Muslims our religious attire to wear in the bus so that they would not be identified easily. We stuck together tightly,” Abdi Mohamud Abdi, a Muslim passenger, told Reuters. “The militants threatened to shoot us but we still refused and protected our brothers and sisters. Finally they gave up and left but warned that they would be back.”
Even though the passengers stuck together so well, two people were killed and three were injured. Abdirashid Adan was hit by a bullet as militants shot at the bus; he was treated at Mandera County Referral Hospital, the Nation reported. The other victims were not identified by authorities, referred to only as a driver and two passengers.The local governor. Ali Roba, confirmed the account in an interview with Daily Nation, a Kenyan publication. “They refused to separate from non-Muslims and told the attacks to kill all passengers or leave,” Roba said. There were 62 passengers on board, according to the paper.
A spokesman for the militant group, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters the militants had succeeded in killing “some of the Christian enemies” and boasted that others were injured. Despite his claims, authorities did not confirm whether the victims were Christian or Muslim. When asked about the Muslim passengers defending the Christian passengers, Musab did not reply.
Al-Shabab has previously targeted Christians in a similar fashion. During an April attack at the Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya, militants killed 148, asking many their religion before opening fire. Many of those victims were Christian, the BBC reported.