re posted from Presstv.com
Muslims protect Christians in Kenya militant attack
Muslim passengers on board a bus in Kenya have defied a demand from militants attacking the vehicle to identify Christians travelling with them, witnesses say.
The attack took place in Mandera County in northeast Kenya on Monday when gunmen believed to be affiliated with Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militant group shot at the bus carrying 60 passengers, killing two people.
According to Abdi Mohamud Abdi, a Muslim who was among the passengers, 10 militants entered the bus and asked the Muslims to split from the Christians, but they refused.
Some of the Muslims even gave non-Muslims headscarves to help them hide their identities when the bus stopped. Al-Shabab gunmen killed nearly 30 non-Muslims from a bus in the same area in 2014.
“We even gave some non-Muslims our religious attire to wear in the bus so that they would not be identified easily. We stuck together tightly,” Abdi said.
“The militants threatened to shoot us but we still refused and protected our brothers and sisters. Finally they gave up and left but warned that they would be back,” he added.
The militants sent the passengers away after a Muslim traveler reportedly fooled them by saying that a truck full of police officers was escorting the bus and was not far behind.
The account was confirmed by Kenyan authorities, including Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery, who said those who refused to identify themselves as Muslims “sent a very important message of the unity of purpose, that we are all Kenyans.”
Six people sustained injuries in the attack at Elwak, some 150 kilometers (95 miles) south of Mandera and on the Somali border.
Al-Shabab has threatened to continue its attacks on Kenya until Nairobi pulls out its troops from an African Union force that is fighting the militants in Somalia.
The extremist group, which pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012, has been behind violence and chaos in Somalia since 2006, targeting key government and security figures in the African state.