Islamist militants slaughter 13 non-Muslims in coastal Kenya

Islamist militants have slaughtered 13 non-Muslims - most of them Christians - in coastal Kenya on July 9, sparking fear among the Christians residing in the area.

(REUTERS / Joseph Okanga)Policemen stand guard at a homestead after gunmen attacked Hindi village, near Kenya's coastal town of Lamu, July 6, 2014.

In an interview with Morning Star News from a hospital in Mpeketoni, a survivor said Muslims in Lamu County directed the Somalia-based Al Shabaab militants to the area where the Christians live. 

Early in the morning on July 8, the Al Shabaab started attacking the non-Muslims in Jima. Nine died after they were shot, hacked with a machete, or beheaded, local sources said. On Sunday, the assailants killed four more non-Musims in Kipini.

"The Christians were asked to recite the Islamic dogmas, which they could not, hence they were killed," an unnamed source shared. "We urged the government to investigate and bring to book these local Muslims who are harboring these Al Shabaab terrorists, because the Christians who were decapitated were farmers."

In addition, the source said the series of attacks by the Al Shabaab group has caused tremendous trauma to the survivors. The government has already tightened security measures in the area as Christians fled their villages and opted to stay at the police station in Hindi, fearing more attacks.

Meanwhile, three more victims lost their lives on July 13 when the Al Shabaab militants abducted Public Works Permanent Secretary Mariam el-Maawy in Lamu. The government official and five other individuals sustained gunshot wounds in the attack, the Anadolu Agency reported.

A senior police officer who spoke under condition of anonymity confirmed the deaths of the three individuals to Kenya's Daily Nation. The official said the Al Shabaab militants took el-Maawi's vehicle and got away. .

El-Maawy was abducted while she was returning to Lamu after attending a meeting. Fortunately, the military responded to the attack promptly and was able to rescue her in the Boni forest. The government official was reportedly airlifted to Mpeketoni Hospital.