Quick-thinking Muslims save passengers from slaughter

2015-12-22 12:19
Hundreds of newly trained al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises. (Farah Abdi Warsameh, AP)

Hundreds of newly trained al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises. (Farah Abdi Warsameh, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Muslims helped dress non-Muslims passengers in Islamic garb, to prevent extremists from identifying them for slaughter on a bus in northern Kenya, witnesses said.

Two people died in the attacks on Monday in northern Mandera County when gunmen believed to be Somalia's al-Shabab rebels shot at a bus and truck headed for Mandera town, North Eastern Regional Coordinator Mohamud Saleh said.

The bus was from travelling from the capital city, Nairobi, with 60 passengers when it was stopped at Papa City by a group of Islamic militants who shot the windscreen, witnesses said.

Some of the Muslim passengers gave non-Muslims head scarfs to try and conceal their identities when the bus stopped, probably remembering a previous attack in the same region last year when al-Shabab gunmen killed 28 non-Muslims from a bus, Abdrirahman Hussien, a 28-year-old teacher, said.

Separated and shot

An extremist entered the bus and ordered everyone to get out and form two separate groups of non-Muslims and Muslims, said Hussein. One person, a non-Muslim decided to run and was shot in the back and died, he said. He said several non-Muslims managed to group with the Muslims.

Before the rebels began singling out and killing the non-Muslims, a Muslim passenger fooled the attackers by saying that a truck full of police officers that was escorting bus was not far behind, said a police official who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorised to give information to the media.

The lie about the police escort prompted the extremists to order everyone back on the bus and told them to drive off, said the officer. The extremists, ambushed a truck on the same road and asked the driver whether he had seen a truck full of police officers, the officer said. They shot the passenger, a non-Muslim off-duty police officer who had hitchhiked, when he tried to run away, the officer said.

Kenya has experienced a wave of attacks by al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, since it sent troops to Somalia to fight the extremists in 2011.

Mandera has carried the brunt of the attacks recently. Last week al-Shabab militants carried out three attacks on security forces in Mandera.

Al-Shabab separated non-Muslims from Muslims on a bus on Nov 22, 2014, and killed 28 non-Muslims. That December, 36 non-Muslim quarry workers were killed. In July 14 quarry workers were killed.

Read more on:    al-shabab  |  kenya

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.