Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Al Shabab Kills at Least 14 in Attack in Northeast Kenya

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Al Shabab Kills at Least 14 in Attack in Northeast Kenya

Article excerpt

Somalia-based militant group Al Shabab claimed responsibility Tuesday for an attack in northeastern Kenya's Mandera County that killed at least 14 people and injured 11 others, CNN reports.

The attack was focused on a compound housing quarry workers. Most of those killed were local laborers and workers from other parts of Kenya.

The violence precedes US President Barack Obama's scheduled visit to the country in a few weeks.

Mandera County Comissioner Alex Nyoko told CNN the attack began around 1 a.m. He said an explosive device was used to blow open a gate to the compound, after which the attackers entered and started shooting.

Judging by the number of shots fired at the site, Nyoko said he estimates that there were 10 to 15 assailants.

Local security forces responded within 10 minutes but as their vehicles approached, the attackers fled, according to Nyoko. He also said that he suspects that some of the attackers crossed the border into Somalia.

Al Shabab's military operations spokesman, Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Musab, said Tuesday's attack had killed more than a dozen people, whom he described as Kenyan Christians. The group is known to target non-Muslims.

In 2013, Shabab killed 68 people in an attack on Nairobi's upscale Westgate shopping mall. The BBC reported that the militants spared Muslims while killing those unable to recite verses from the Koran.

Al Shabab is also notorious for its shooting rampage in a Kenyan university that left 148 students and security dead in April.

Since 2013, Al Shabab has attacked Kenya 63 times, according to data released in late April from the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. …

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