Al-Shabab fighters from Somalia hijacked a bus in Kenya’s north and killed 28 non-Muslims on board after they had been singled out from the rest of the passengers, police officials said.
Two police officers said that the bus travelling to the capital Nairobi with 60 passengers was hijacked 50km from the town of Mandera near Kenya’s border with Somalia. The officers insisted on anonymity out of fear of reprisals because of an order from Kenya’s police chief that officers should not speak to the media.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the dawn bus attack in a statement on Saturday, saying the attack was revenge for raids carried out by Kenyan security forces on mosques in the coastal city of Mombasa. Kenyan police said they found explosives and arrested more than 150 people in the mosque raids.
The interior ministry confirmed Saturday’s attack, saying via its official Twitter handle: “Security agencies are in pursuit of the criminal gang. We’ll give a comprehensive update once preliminary reports are out.”
Police said that the attackers, who were heavily-armed, fled towards the border between Kenya and Somalia, adding that a security team has been deployed to the area to capture the attackers.