[QODLink]
Africa

Muslim worshippers killed in eastern Kenya

At least seven killed in mosque in village close to Somali border, deepening security fears in run-up to March 4 vote.
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2013 15:36

Armed men in Kenya have killed at least seven people at a mosque in the east of the country, less than two weeks before the presidential election.

Ten men armed with AK-47 rifles opened fire on Thursday morning on worshippers in Maayleey, a remote village in Liboi district,  about 48km from Kenya's border with Somalia.

The victims include five men who were shot inside the mosque while praying at dawn, and two women who were attacked as they rushed to the scene to check what was happening, Maalim Mohamed, Garissa county commissioner, said.

The motive remains unclear, he said.

Follow our in-depth spotlight coverage of the vote

Maayleey is close to the world's largest refugee camp, Dadaab,which holds nearly half a million people, most of them Somalis who have fled more than two decades of war and famine. 

"The bandits opened fire at the villagers at Maayleey area which is near the Dadaab refugee camp in Liboi district," Mohamed said.

"We have dispatched a team of security personnel to pursue the bandits.

The region, a hotspot of attacks blamed on al-Qaeda-linked fighters from Somalia, has seen a series of recent attacks, mostly on churches.

Somalia's al-Shabab fighters have threatened to carry out attacks on Kenyan soil in retaliation for Kenya's military push into Somalia in late 2011.

The attacks have deepened fears of insecurity in the run-up to the March 4 general election.

There are also heightened fears al-Shabab-affiliated fighters disrupting the election, with politically motivated attacks increasing during the vote.

In 2007, when the last presidential election was held, about 1,000 people died in violence.

267

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.