Kenyan Muslims Shield Christians in Mandera Bus Attack

Gunmen killed at least two people in an ambush on a passenger bus in Kenya’s northeastern Mandera County, according to reports.

The bus was allegedly carrying over 50 passengers when it was attacked between Kutulo and Daba villages on Sunday. The bus was reportedly travelling from the capital Nairobi to the town of Mandera. The attackers tried to wave the bus down but then sprayed it with bullets when the driver refused to stop making the vehicle stop abruptly.

The passengers was then forced off the bus before the attackers tried to separate Muslims from Christians, but a group of Kenyan Muslims travelling on the bus ambushed by Islamist gunmen protected Christian passengers by declining to be split into groups, according to what eyewitnesses said.

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A local governor told Kenyan media that those on-board when asked to split told the militants “to kill them together or leave them alone”,

Mandera governor Ali Roba  stated that locals showed a sense of patriotism and belonging to each other .

He added that, the militants decided to leave after the passengers’ show of unity.

An eyewitness, who had talked with the driver involved in the attack, confirmed that Muslims had refused to be separated from their fellow Christian passengers.

Though nobody has taken responsibility for the attack but the Somali based al-Shabab group is the main suspect for the attack that killed at least two people, near the north-eastern village of El Wak on the Somali border. Kenya’s north-eastern region has a large population of ethnic Somalis.

The terror group has been carrying attacks in Kenya’s north-east and when al-Shabab killed 148 people in an attack on Garissa University College in April, the militants allegedly singled out Christians and shot them, while letting many Muslims go free. Also, a bus was attacked near Mandera in 2014 by al-Shabab militants, who killed 36 non-Muslims travelling to Nairobi for Christmas celebrations.