Islamic extremist violence in countries not known for religious tensions, majority-Christian Kenya and Uganda, topped Morning Star News’ stories in 2015. While the Islamic State terrorized Christians in Syria, Iraq and Libya, and Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria killed innocent civilians in the shadow of Boko Haram, in northeast Kenya Al Shabaab militants massacred Christian college students and others on a scale that few expected. At the same time, Morning Star News uncovered incessant attacks on Christians by ordinary Muslims in remote pockets of eastern Uganda, with some aid agencies verifying the reports as they considered assisting survivors.
1 – Massacre at College in Kenya
Kenya, in the worst attack on its soil since the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, suffered an attack on a college by Somalia’s rebel Al Shabaab on April 2 that killed 148 people, besides four assailants. With Christians selected out, 142 students, three security officers and three university security personnel were gunned down. The attack on Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya also wounded 104 people.
The gunmen first targeted a chapel service where Christians had gathered for prayer at 5 a.m., spraying them with bullets and killing 22. A female student and member of the East Africa Pentecostal Church (EAPC) lay in a pool of blood among the bodies, feigning death. “One terrorist picked up a call from a phone on a dead body close by, and he said that they were continuing to kill their children, and that they need to know that Garissa is for Muslims only,” Millicent Murugi said.
The Garissa attack caused greater loss of life than Al Shabaab’s assault on the Westgate Shopping Mall on Sept. 21, 2013, which killed at least 67 people, with dozens still unaccounted for. The assailants killed those they could identify as non-Muslims. The Garissa college attack not only elevated the scale of violence in Kenya, which has only an 8-percent Muslim population, but was also emblematic of an uptick in other attacks on Kenyan Christians by Islamic extremists from Somalia.
Representatives of Al Shabaab, which has ties to Al Qaeda, said the attacks came in retaliation for Kenya’s involvement in helping the Somali government fight the Al Shabaab insurgency. The rebels also oppose education for women. In 2011 Kenya joined African Union forces battling the Al Shabaab insurgents after a series of Somali attacks on tourists and other targets in northern Kenya, and since then Al Shabaab has carried out several retaliatory attacks on Kenyan soil.
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