In the latest attack on Kenyan Christians, gunmen believed to be radical Muslims shot and killed at least six worshippers in a Bible-reading church not far from the city of Mombasa on Sunday, according to Joel Pennesky, a counterterrorism expert who monitors Middle East and African terrorist groups.
The attack was described by Pennesky as having all the earmarks of Islamic terrorists who have been seeking revenge for Kenya’s contribution to the African Union military force that is helping the government in Somalia combat al-Qaeda’s affiliate Al Shabaab.
According to news reports, the terrorists broke into the church through its back door and begand shouting and opening fire on the Christian worshippers during the service.
The crime scene was described as “blood-spattered Bibles, overturned plastic chairs, and empty cartridges encircling the dead victims and an undisclosed number of wounded churchgoers.
According to reports, the same attackers attempted another attack on a Christian church not far from their first target, but they were thwarted by police patrol officers who were already in the area.
The Somali group al Shabaab and its Kenyan Muslim sympathizers have regularly attacked targets in Kenya, according to Examiner reports. Several of these jihadist attacks targeted Christian church services.
Kenya’s large Muslim minority, many of who support Al Shabaab and other jihadists, have been angry about their nation being run by a predominantly Christian government.
While U.S. President Barack Obama claims Kenya as his ancestral home and his family members still living in that country are devout Muslims, there are no reports of their being directly involved in Islamist activities.
Breaking up the jihadist network operating in Kenya has resulted in so-called moderates claiming the Kenyan police and security forces use “heavy-handed tactic.” Such accusations allegedly increased Al Shabaab’s recruitment of young Kenyans.