Bloody massacre in Kenya: Al-Shabab strikes again

Lamu (Caasimada Online) – In the latest terror attack in eastern Kenya, Al-Shabab jihadists claimed the lives of five civilians, some of whom were tragically beheaded, reported a local witness and police source on Sunday.

The assault was launched on Saturday around 7:30 pm (1630 GMT) in the small villages of Juhudi and Salama in Lamu county, bordering Somalia.

“The victims had their throats slit, and others were gruesomely beheaded,” the source provided chilling details.

A resident, Hassan Abdul, painted a horrifying picture of the incident, revealing that “men were yanked out of their homes, while women were forcefully confined inside.”

The men were subsequently tied up and slaughtered in senseless violence.

The victims

Among the victims was a secondary school student, Abdul further disclosed. All the slain individuals met the same grisly fate – their throats were cut, and some beheaded, adding to the horror of the situation.

Following the violent carnage, the militants reportedly pilfered food supplies. They departed, firing their weapons into the air, stated another resident, Ismail Hussein.

Post the incident, security measures have been enhanced in the affected area, assured Lamu County Commissioner Louis Rono. “We have intensified security after the attack,” Rono said.

Long-standing insurgency

The Al-Shabab group, headquartered in Kenya’s eastern neighbor, Somalia, has led a bloody jihadist insurgency against the unstable Mogadishu government for over a decade and a half.

In 2011, Kenya deployed troops into Somalia to combat the Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants, significantly contributing to an African Union military operation against the group.

However, Kenya has borne the brunt of several revenge attacks, including a devastating siege at Nairobi’s Westgate mall in 2013, resulting in 67 casualties, and a 2015 assault on Garissa University, killing 148 people.

Despite a substantial offensive by pro-government forces and the African Union force, ATMIS, launched last August, Al-Shabab has sustained its deadly attacks within Somalia.

A region under siege

Lamu region, home to the famed Lamu Island beach destination, has been a frequent target of such attacks, typically conducted with roadside bombs.

Saturday’s gruesome killings unfolded near Mpeketoni, a town approximately 450 kilometers from Nairobi and 120 kilometers from the Somali border.

Previously, an attack, credited to Al-Shabab, in January 2022 resulted in six fatalities and multiple houses burned down in the same area.

A series of armed attacks 2014 led to almost 100 casualties in Mpeketoni and the surrounding Lamu County villages.

In a suspected Al-Shabab assault last June, an improvised explosive device claimed the lives of eight Kenyan police officers in the neighboring Garissa county.

Recently, Kenya and Somalia agreed to gradually reopen three land border points, initially closed in 2011 to thwart Al-Shabab’s violent activities.