01/04/2022 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – A Christian man in Kenya was killed last night, January 3, by suspected al-Shabaab militants in Bobo-Hindi, just one day after six Christians were killed in a nearby village. Three houses were also set ablaze during the attack.
Police confirmed that John Gichoya was killed and burned inside of his home by terrorists who then fled toward the porous Kenya-Somalia border. International Christian Concern (ICC) spoke with village elder Josephine Muchemi the day after the attack.
“At 11:00 p.m., we were called by one of the police officers on night patrol and [he] informed us that there was an attack in Bobo and all the residents should leave their homes,” she said. “We left immediately and went to hide in a nearby bush.”
Seven years ago, Josephine and her family survived the 2014 July attack in Bobo-Hindi, where 18 people were beheaded and 15 houses were burned down.
“We could not stop thinking about the 2014 attack where we lost 18 of our friends and our houses razed down,” she continued. “We returned home at 5:00 a.m. after police assured us that the terrorists had left… John’s body was still in his burnt house and other two houses were also burned down.”
Josephine informed ICC that the owners of two of the burned homes had fled the previous night, due to the Sunday attack in nearby Widhu. “That’s how they escaped the Somali terrorists,” she said.
Another local resident who preferred to remain anonymous confirmed that he saw a group of eight fully armed gunmen dressed in military gear, making their way out of the village after setting the homes on fire.
“Many of the villagers did not sleep here yesterday because of fear of being attacked,” he told ICC. “Our village lies off the main road that connects Lamu to Somalia and so the terrorists move easily within the area.”
He continued, “When they stormed the village, I fled to a safe place where I was sure they could not pass. I heard gunshots and thereafter saw huge flames of fire. After about 30 minutes, I saw the terrorists walking away from the village. They were conversing in low tones, with bright flashlights to light the way. They followed the small path I used to flee and so I saw them from the bush.”
Al-Shabaab, directly translated as “the Youth,” is a jihadist militant organization whose primary aim is to create an Islamic state in Somalia. Attacks on Kenya have been occurring for nearly a decade because the Kenyan military has supported the central government in Somalia. Fighters easily slip across the Kenyan border and raid Christian villages before retreating to the safety of Somalian soil.
The two attacks by suspected al-Shabaab militants since the beginning of 2022 have forced villagers to flee their homes for more secure urban areas.
SOURCE International Christian Concern