Garissa (Halbeeg News) – At least two non-Somaliwere killed after Al-Shabab ambushed a bus in Garissa County, a regional official confirmed Saturday.
Several Al-Shabab fighters armed with AK 47 rifles intercepted the bus owned by Kilas Company between Ijara and Sangailu on Friday, witnesses and local media.
The bus was travelling from the border town of Hulugho in Garissa County.
Northeastern regional commissioner Mohamed Birik confirmed the incident at Handaro saying a security operation was underway to try and arrest the militants who were believed to be still hiding in the forest.
“We dispatched security forces to comb the area and deal with the terrorists. The operation is currently underway,” he said.
The witnesses told Daily Nation that an attacker who spoke Kiswahili emerged from a thicket with a gun and asked the driver to stop.
The eyewitnesses said about seven armed Al-Shabab had later emrged from the forest and ordered all non-locals (Christians) to alight from the bus.
According to the witnesses, Al-Shabab who were all speaking in Swahili ordered commuters to produce their identification cards.
“The three non-locals were then separated from the rest of us (Muslims) before they were told to recite the Muslim Shahada and suratul Fatiha (Quran verses), the complete seven verses,” said a teacher who refused to be identified.
Only one of them managed to do all the verses. He was left while his two colleagues, a bus conductor identified only as Joshua and the other a casual laborer had their hands tied before being executed.
After committing the heinous act, the attackers then escaped to an unknown location.
“These militants were seven in number. They were all conversing in Swahili with one guy who resembled like a person from the Arab origin. They never seem to be in a hurry even as they went about carrying out the exercise,” said the teacher.
The victims killed in the attack were identified as the bus mechanic and a passenger who was a casual labourer in Masalani town.