Al-Shabaab militants, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in East Africa, beheaded three Kenyans in the Eastern part of the country. Lamu County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo says gunmen believed to al-Shabaab militants attacked Maleli village near Witu town.
Since late 2011, Kenya has seen an upsurge in violent terrorist attacks. Kenyan government officials asserted that many of the murders and blasts were carried out by Al-Shabaab in retaliation for Operation Linda Nchi, a coordinated military mission between the Somalian military and Kenyan military that began in October 2011, when troops from Kenya crossed the border into the conflict zones of southern Somalia.
Beheadings by al-Shabaab have been relatively rare in Kenya, where the extremist group has carried out dozens of deadly attacks over the years. The group in July was accused of beheading nine people in another village in Lamu County and has stepped up attacks in East African country in recent weeks.
The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab has vowed retribution after Kenya sent troops across the border to Somalia in 2011 to fight the group, which last year became the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa.
According to Kenyan security experts, the bulk of the attacks were increasingly carried out by radicalized Kenyan youth who were hired for the purpose. Kenya security officials also indicated that they were part of death squads, which carried out many of the killings under the orders of a government security council. By mid-2014, the cumulative attacks began affecting Kenya’s tourism industry, as Western nations issued travel warnings to their citizens.