Somali al Shabaab Islamist militants have killed 36 non-Muslim workers at a quarry in northeast Kenya early on Tuesday, an incidence that has prompted the president to change his top security officials in order to tackle a relentless wave of violence.
Kenyans have grown increasingly critical of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government for failing to do more to defend the nation from the incessant militant attacks, which have killed well over 200 people since 2013.
Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for much of the bloodshed and says it will keep up the violence in an effort to persuade Kenya to pull its troops out of neighboring Somalia.
In Tuesday’s attack, gunmen crept up on dozens of workers sleeping in tents at about 1 a.m. (2200 GMT), a resident said, in the same area near the Somali border where a bus was hijacked just over a week ago and 28 passengers killed.
“The militia separated the Muslims, then ordered the non-Muslims to lie down where they shot them on the head at close range,” Hassan Duba, an elder at a nearby village, said.
A witness said at least two of the victims were beheaded. Public pressure has been mounting on Kenyatta to sack police chief David Kimaiyo and Interior Minister Joseph ole Lenku since al Shabaab’s attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall last year that killed 67 people and the subsequent violence.
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