By Suleiman Hassan:
A group of Muslim passengers risked their lives today after resisting attempts by Al-shabaab militants to separate passengers traveling in a Mandera bound bus they attacked along religious lines.
Eye witnesses told Nepjournal the militants would have killed at the scale of a previous similar attack had it not been the brave stance taken by the Muslim travelers.
An employee of Makkah Bus Company, owners of the ill-fated bus who spoke to Nepjournal on condition of anonymity confirmed the brave move by the passengers. He said one of the victims was shot dead after trying to run away from the militants who forced passengers off the bus.
Muslim women gave their christian colleagues veils and long dresses while their male counterparts led by local teacher Sahal Farah dared the militants to ‘either kill them all or leave them alone’.
Our source said the standoff forced the militants to flee for fear of backlash from the nearby settlements.
Mr. Farah however sustained gunshot wounds and was transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.
Mandera Governor Ali Roba hailed the ‘sense of patriotism and belonging to each other’ shown by the travelers.
“The locals showed a sense of patriotism and belonging to each other by insisting that the al-Shabab should kill them together or leave them alone,” Roba told a local media house.
Al-shabaab has made it a habit to separate their victims along religious lines to create the impression that they were at war with only non-Muslims.
Members of the Muslim and Christian faiths in Kenya however refused to be dragged into this trap by the militants which is aimed at setting them against each other.