Terror Group Al-Shabab Kills 48 in Kenya While They Were Watching World Cup on TV

LamuattackA brutal armed attack attributed to al-Shabab, the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group, took the lives of 48 people in Kenya on Sunday as many were gathered to watch the World Cup matches on TV in the coastal town of Mpeketoni, near the popular tourist resort of Lamu Island.

The extremists killed those who weren’t Muslim or who did not know the Somali language, according to the Associated Press, shooting most of the victims in the head. They also set two hotels on fire and reportedly broke into three local banks, though it is not clear whether they took any money.

Al-Shabab, the Somalia-based group, has vowed to carry out terrorist attacks to avenge Kenya’s military presence in Somalia.

“They came to our house at around 8 p.m. and asked us in Swahili whether we were Muslims. My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head and chest,” Anne Gathigi told the AP.

John Waweru said his two brothers were killed because the attackers did not like that the brothers did not speak Somali.

“My brothers who stay next door to me were killed as I watched. I was peeping from my window and I clearly heard them speak to my brothers in Somali and it seems since my brothers did not meet their expectations, they sprayed them with bullets and moved on,” said Waweru.

The AP reports the gunmen forced the women to watch as they executed men at the Breeze View Hotel. The attackers said it was what Kenyan troops are doing to Somali men inside Somalia, according to a police commander who spoke to AP.
Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku told the media that the attackers ran way into the nearby wilds, known as the Boni Forest, after a “fierce exchange of fire” with security forces. He said 20 vehicles had been set on fire.

Mpeketoni is on the mainland, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of the tourist center of Lamu. Tourists pass through the town on their way to Lamu, Kenya’s oldest continually inhabited town whose ancient architecture is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Al-Shabab has been fighting for the last seven years to impose its interpretation of Islamic law inside Somalia. It claimed responsibility for the Sept. 21 rampage in an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya that left at least 39 people dead. It was also behind a 2010 attack in Kampala, Uganda, that killed 74 people while they were watching a World Cup match.

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