- The Washington Times - Monday, June 16, 2014

Islamic extremists sieged the Kenyan coastal town of Mpeketoni on Sunday night, slaughtering residents who claimed to be Christian in a brutal attack that lasted well into Monday morning.

Kenya’s top police commander, David Kimaiyo, said the death toll was 48, the Associated Press reported.

Though no one claimed responsibility for the attack, authorities blamed al-Shabab, Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked terror group, who have vowed to carry out terror attacks to avenge the Kenyan military presence in Somali, AP reported.

“They came to our house at around 8 p.m. and asked us in Swahili whether we were Muslims. My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head and chest,” Anne Gathigi told the news agency.

Another resident, John Waweru, said his two brothers were killed because they did not speak Somali and couldn’t communicate.

“My brothers who stay next door to me were killed as I watched. I was peeping from my window and I clearly heard them speak to my brothers in Somali and it seems since my brothers did not meet their expectations, they sprayed them with bullets and moved on,” he told AP.

Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said the attackers had a “fierce exchange of fire” with Kenyan security forces as they fled into the Boni Forest. At least 20 vehicles had been set on fire, he said.