Somalia’s Al-Shabab says it killed 28 in Kenya

FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 file photo, hundreds of newly trained al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area some 18 km south of Mogadishu, in Somalia. Suspected Islamic extremists from Somalia hijacked a bus at dawn near Mandera in Kenya’s north near the border with Somalia, and killed 28 non-Muslims on board after they had been singled out from the rest of the passengers, police officials said Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, Al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for a Saturday dawn attack on a bus in which 28 non-Muslims were singled out and killed.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack through its radio station in Somalia, saying it was in retaliation for raids by Kenyan security forces carried out earlier this week on four mosques at the Kenyan coast.

Nineteen men and nine women were killed in the bus attack, said Kenyan police chief David Kimaiyo.

The bus traveling to the capital Nairobi with 60 passengers was hijacked about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the town of Mandera near Kenya’s border with Somalia, said two police officers.

The two officers said the bus was first waved down but it didn’t stop so the gunmen sprayed it with bullets and when that didn’t work they shot a rocket propelled grenade at it, the officers said.

The gunmen commandeered the bus off the road and ordered all the passengers out of the vehicle and separated those who appeared to be non-Muslims from the rest and shot them at close range, the officers said.

The police insisted on anonymity because Kenya’s police chief ordered that officers should not speak to the press.

Some of the dead were public servants who were heading to Nairobi for the Christmas vacation, the officers said.

A shortage of personnel and lack of equipment led to a slow response by police when the information was received, the officers said. They said the attackers have more sophisticated weaponry than the police who waited for military reinforcements before responding.

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