Two horrific terrorist attacks yesterday carried out against civilians by two of the worst terrorist groups in the world.
A group of Somalia-based al-Shabab gunmen stopped a bus full of Kenyans at dawn on their way to Nairobi. The gunmen then began to ask the 60 passengers to recite a verse from the Koran. Those that couldn’t were told to lie on the ground.
A primary school headteacher who was the only survivor of the Kenya bus massacre has said he was saved because his would-be killers became confused as he lay waiting to be murdered.
Non-Muslim Douglas Ochwodho, who was singled out to to be killed, said one gunman shot from the right and one from the left, each killing their victims lying in a line on the ground.
They grew closer and closer to Mr Ochwodho, who was in the middle, then the shooting stopped. Apparently each gunman thought the other shot Mr Ochwodho, who remained perfectly still until the 20 Islamic extremists left the scene.
Twenty-eight passengers were murdered when Somalia’s al-Shabab group attacked a bus in northern Kenya at dawn yesterday and picked out those who could not recite an Islamic creed who they assumed to be non-Muslims.
Nineteen men and nine women were killed.
Those who could not say the Shahada, a tenet of the Muslim faith, were shot at close range, Mr Ochwodho, who spoke from a hospital bed where he was being treated for shock, said.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the killings through its radio station in Somalia, saying it was in retaliation for earlier raids by Kenyan security forces on four coastal mosques.
Kenyan troops are fighting alongside government troops against al-Shabab in Somalia, and the terrorists are murdering civilians in retaliation. Last September, 4 al-Shabab gunmen walked into the upscale Westlake Mall in Nairobi and gunned down 63 men, women, and children. They, too, singled out people who could not recite the Muslim profession of faith, “There is no god but allah and Mohammed is his prophet.”
Meanwhile, in Nigeria, Boko Harum rampaged through a small town killing at least 60 innocents.
An attack by Islamic extremists killed dozens in the northeastern Nigerian village of Doron Baga, a major fishing center on the shores of Lake Chad, witnesses said.
Fisherman Usman Abubakar told the Associated Press that suspected Boko Haram members drove into Doron Baga, in Borno state, “shooting people on sight.”
“I counted 60 bodies with my own eyes,” Abubakar said.
He said he, his wife and three children hid in their home before fleeing to the state capital of Maiduguri about 200 kilometers (124 miles) away.
Abubakar said he is among the many residents who are fleeing Borno and returning to their state of origin, Sokoto in northwestern Nigeria.
Nigerian security official Gideon Jubrin, spokesman for the Borno state police, told AP he has not received any official confirmation of the attack.
Communication in the area are difficult because Boko Haram have destroyed mobile phone masts across the northeastern region, which means attacks often go unreported for days.
Baga was the site of a mass killing in April 2013 where almost 200 people, mostly civilians, were killed and more than 2,000 homes were destroyed in crossfire between the Nigerian troops and Boko Haram.
An attack on Wednesday in Azaya Kura village in Borno left at least 45 people dead when Boko Haram members surged through the village raiding homes and stealing livestock.
Most observers in the region don’t think the Nigerian military can stand up against Boko Harum. Besides, the people fear the military almost as much as they hate Boko Harum. Without the population on their side, Boko Harum will only grow stronger while the Nigerian government fumbles its way to defeat.