Al-Shabaab slaughter Kenyan Christian teachers in night attack
21 February 2018
Al-Shabaab militants murdered three Christians in an attack on a primary school compound in the village of Qarsa, north-east Kenya on 16 February.
Armed men forced their way into a house within the compound of Qarsa Primary School before dawn. Two Christian teachers, Kevin Shari and Seth Oluoch Odada, were shot dead. Seth’s wife Caroline was also brutally murdered – local sources reported, “her head was nearly cut off from the body”. The couple had only recently married.
Al-Shabaab have repeatedly targeted Christian teachers. According to local sources, such attacks are part of a deliberate effort to reduce school attendance, which makes children vulnerable to recruitment by the Somali-based Islamist group. Al-Shabaab are known to make extensive use of child soldiers and the group is reported to have recruited children as young as nine.
On 20 February, the headless body of a man was brought to a hospital in Wajir, the nearest main town, 70km (43 miles) from Qarsa. The man’s identity has not been confirmed, but he is thought to be a Christian.
A source told Barnabas Fund, “Again Lent has begun for us with high drama, pain, and agony from the cruel hands of Al-Shabaab … people, especially Christians, are living in terror”.
02/23/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on February 16, 2018, three Christian teachers were killed by al-Shabaab militants in Wajir, Kenya. According to witnesses, the suspected perpetrators ambushed the victims’ residence around 1:00 a.m. and killed Seth Oluoch Odada, his wife Caroline Oluoch, and Kevin Shari. The three victims were non-local teachers working in Qarsa Primary School and living in the northeastern town of Wajir.
Pastor Justus Njuki, a resident of Wajir, spoke with ICC to confirm the incident. He said,“We have lost three dedicated professional teachers of Qarsa Primary School and we are sending our condolences to their families. They were among the few resilient teachers who have remained, defying the fear of being attacked that has made many teachers leave Wajir to safer parts of the country.”
A local resident of Wajir, who chose to remain anonymous, regretted the attack on Christians, calling it “a barbaric act that is uncalled for. We do not subscribe to the same spiritual beliefs and practices but they are our friends and they teach our children with commitment and love, and without discrimination.”
ICC also spoke with Mr. Mohamed Abdi, Wajir’s governor, who condemned the attack and sympathized with the families by extending his “condolences to the bereaved families and wish[ed] a speedy recovery to the injured. There is simply no justification for this kind of attack, eliminating those who are modeling the future of our children.”
The Somali-based terror group, al-Shabaab, is one of Al-Qaeda’s allies. This terrorist group constantly crosses the Kenyan border in order to persecute and kill Christians. Residents in Wajir have already witnessed several attacks on Christians. Therefore, the governor is requesting the government to fortify its borders and security in the area. “I urge the security agents to act swiftly and bring the perpetrators to book and reinforce security measures in Wajir.”
ICC’s Regional Manager, Nathan Johnson, stated, “We pray for the families of the deceased and for peace to come to a region that has seen increased violence toward Christians who are just trying to survive. We hope that the government will take effective action to stop the senseless killing of so many Christians in Kenya at the hands of Islamic radicals like al-Shabaab. We praise God as the refuge and strong tower that He is for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to endure so much.”
For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator:firstname.lastname@example.org