By BosNewsLife Africa Service
NAIROBI, KENYA (BosNewsLife)– Several Christians were killed near Kenya’s violence-plagued coast and leaflets were distributed by suspected Islamic militants Wednesday, July 9, threatening to kill more Christians, residents said.
Among Christians killed in Lamu county were two men, Joseph Kangethe and Kenda Masha, who had remained in the Conveant Church, near Hindi village, following a Bible study when it was attacked by assailants, according to Christians familiar with the situation.
Monday’s killings followed attacks over the weekend on two heavily Christian villages in the area that left more than 30 people dead.
A Catholic church building in the village of Gamba, in neighboring Tana River County, was also razed the same night, some 46 kilometers (28 miles) outside Mpeketoni, a mainly Christian town where gunmen killed at least 57 people in a June 15 attack.
On Saturday night July 5, gunmen attacked both Gamba and the village of Hindi, which is in Lamu County. In Hindi, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Mpeketoni where some 20 assailants using guns and knives killed at least 13 people.
Among the dead Christians was Ken Mangara, a 12-year-old student at Kibiboni primary school, and Kenya Kazungu, in his 30s, who was found in a pool of blood with a Bible on his back, reported Morning Star News, a Christian news agency.
As many as 90 people have been killed in the last three weeks in violence blamed on al-Shabaab, a Somali-based militant group, which said it carried out a series of attacks last month that left at least 87 people dead.
It also claimed to have distributed leaflets warning predominantly Christian that “do not belong to Lamu county” pack up and leave.
“I found one of the leaflets hung on a wall in Mkunguni. Later, police came and pulled it down,” Tabitha Munga, a grocer in the town told Kenyan media.
The leaflets were also distributed in an exclusive Kenyan beach resort of Lamu county, in an apparent effort to discourage tourists from visiting the region.
Police said Wednesday, July 9, it had detained dozens of suspects including a business tycoon over the recent killings.
Kenya’s government has reportedly blamed the killings on political incitement and ethnic profiling.
It has accused radical opposition groups of using outlawed groups such as al-Shabaab to make the country ungovernable and overthrow the government, Kenyan media reported.
Last year, al-Shabaab claimed an attack on the upmarket Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi killing at least 67 people.