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Kenyan Christians making bus journeys continue to be threatened by Al-Shabaab

by Premier Journalist

Gunmen believed be to part of terrorist group Al-Shabaab took over a Kenyan passenger bus on Tuesday that was travelling close to the border with Somalia. 

According to US religious freedom charity International Christian Concern (ICC), no one was killed as the group were looking for Christians and there were none onboard. 

In recent years, the Somali-based terrorist group has been targeting Kenyans making bus journeys, interrogating them to identify Muslims from Christians and shooting them dead.

Reporting on the incident, the bus conductor said: "We were approaching a place called Darkut when six fully armed men stopped the bus. They fired in the air and ordered all our passengers from Mandera to alight. They separated men and women and started asking if there were people who were not Somalis."

Although there were no Christians onboard, they ransacked the bus and stole food and items belonging to the travellers. They also robbed the conductor.

"They demanded the money that the passengers had paid for fare and I handed it over, all of it, 40,000Ksh. That's when they left," he said.

ICC's regional manager for Africa, Nathan Johnson, said that the border between Kenya and Somalia "continues to be a problem for Kenyan Christians". 

He continued: "Al-Shabaab uses porous areas to move into Kenyan territory, target Christians, then retreat back to the safety of Somalian soil. 

"Their brutal and evil tactics of targeting and executing passengers on buses merely for being Christians is one of the clearest forms of persecution taking place anywhere in the world today."

Kenya currently ranks 49th on the Open Doors World Watch List of countries where Christians face the most persecution and discrimination. 

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