Gunmen killed at least 48 people in an attack on Mpeketoni, Kenya yesterday evening. No entity has claimed responsibility for the assault, but Kenyan police believe it was carried out by Al Shabaab, the Islamist militant group behind last year's Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi.
The killers first targeted a television hall in the small coastal town, killing people who had gathered there to watch a World Cup game, and later moved on to a bank, two hotels, and a police station, Reuters reports. Witnesses said the gunmen numbered at least 30.
"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," said Anne Gathigi.
Another resident, John Waweru, said his two brothers were killed because the attackers did not like that the brothers did not speak Somali.
At the Breeze View Hotel, the gunmen pulled the men aside and ordered the women to watch as they killed them, saying it was what Kenyan troops are doing to Somali men inside Somalia, a police commander said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to share such details of the attack.
After the Westgate attack, Al Shabaab claimed there would be more killings unless Kenyan troops left Somalia, where the group is based. Kenya, thus far, has refused to pull out.