01/27/2022 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – On January 26, 2022, six gunmen suspected to be al-Shabaab terrorists ambushed a convoy of vehicles near Kenya’s Somali border, and began shooting. Six people were injured in the attack and three were able to escape due to security measures in place.
According to one of the survivors, the six fully armed terrorists emerged from the right side of the road, pointing guns at the approaching vehicles. He recalled, “It was 5:00 p.m., an hour before the dusk to dawn curfew imposed this month in Lamu, and we wanted to come out of Lamu County before 6:00 p.m. We were almost getting to the second [to] last security check when I saw a group of six men appearing from the roadside bushes. They started firing [at] our truck, but we managed to stop before getting too close to them, and we escaped through the passenger’s door and entered the forest on the left side of the road. I was with my co-driver. We abandoned the truck on the road.”
Thankfully, the road had recently been tarred and bushes along it cleared due to the recent surge in attacks this month, in an effort to help citizens escape. The Somali-based al-Shabaab group has made Lamu’s Boni Forest its hideout, and has easily been able to stage attacks across the Kenyan border.
One of the vehicles attacked in the recent incident was carrying a group of government court officers. All six occupants were shot and evacuated by a multi-agency team to the nearest hospital for treatment.
This is the seventh terrorist attack in Lamu since the new year. Just three days prior, a group of suspected al-Shabaab militants detonated explosives at a Chinese company yard. A church leader in Lamu expressed his concerns about the safety of Christians and the impact the attacks are having on the church.
“This January has been characterized by a series of terrorist attacks, right after we celebrated the New Year, where over 15 people have been killed and several houses torched. Christians have been living in camps since the third of January because the villages are not safe. They go to the farms during the day and return to the camps in the evening where they eat together and sleep while security officers guard them. This is unacceptable.”
He continued, “The body of Christ is hurting here in Lamu. Christians are not safe because, historically, Lamu is known to be an area dominated by Muslims, but many ethnic groups have come and settled here legally. A big percentage of the settlers in Lamu are Christian farmers and this has led to an exponential group of Christianity which poses a threat to the Muslim community. We need protection from the government, including us who are involved in Muslim evangelism.”
Despite the ongoing persecution the church is currently facing, the church leader expressed confidence in the gospel of Christ. “The enemy of the cross might look like he is winning, but the truth is this period of persecution is producing bolder and courageous believers, sharpened on all ends, and sent to carry out a great and effective outreach among the Muslim communities and planting more sound churches in Lamu for the glory of God.”
SOURCE International Christian Concern