By Michael Carl

The al-Qaida affiliated Islamic group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for an attack on a Kenyan church in the Kenya-Somali border down of Garissa Sunday that killed 17 people.

Reports say the group killed the two soldiers guarding the Africa Inland Church, then entered the church and opened fire on the congregation.

Open Doors, USA spokesman Jerry Dyskstra says that al-Shabaab’s goal in Kenya is the same as Boko Haram in Nigeria.

“Yes. Al-Shabaab wants to impose Shariah Law and is targeting Christians, especially those who were Muslims,” Dykstra said.

Church pastor Ibrahim Magunyi was quoted in a press statement saying others may succumb to injuries.

“Many people were injured and rushed to Garissa Provincial hospital. More people might die as the undergo treatment,” Magunyi said in the statement.

International Christian Concern’s Africa specialist Jonathan Racho says that al-Shabaab is targeting Kenya.

“We have written previously of al-Shabaab’s infiltration of Kenya and are extremely saddened by these killings of Christian worshippers,” Racho said.

Racho adds that al-Shabaab is getting stronger.

“We are extremely saddened and concerned about this latest attacks on churches in Kenya. The Islamic radicals are growing bolder in their anti-Christian attacks. We urge Kenya to step-up its protection of Christians and other vulnerable groups,” Racho said.

“What would you do if your church was attacked by terrorists during worship service?”

In a statement for the press, Open Doors, USA President Dr. Carl Moeller condemned the attacks.

“These brazen attacks on innocent Christian worshippers are horrific. The area near the border of Somalia and Kenya is becoming a killing field as well as a place where many aid workers are being kidnapped,” Moeller said.

Moeller says that press attention on Nigeria has distracted from Islamic actions in the rest of Africa.

“While attacks on churches in Nigeria have held our attention over the last few months, attacks on Christians have increased in the Somalia/Kenya border area. Please pray for the families of the victims,” Moeller said in the statement.

Recent reports have indicated that al-Shabaab is increasing its operations in Kenya. The New York Times reports that the operations are being planned by al-Shabaab’s more militant wing.

“As the group has drawn increasingly close to Al Qaeda, deploying suicide bombers and attracting jihadists from around the world, it has prompted American concerns that the organization may be spreading into Kenya, Yemen and beyond,” the Times report said.

WND has previously reported that an al-Shabaab operative mounted a rocket attack in Kenya on against a crowd of 150.

“A band of Muslims launched a grenade attack against a crowd of 150 Christians attending an open-air meeting near the Kenyan town of Mtwapa, killing two and wounding more than 30, authorities report,” the WND story said.

“Human-rights groups say that the Muslim attackers were hyped into action by a militant Muslim preacher holding an alternate rally only 900 feet from the Christian gathering,” the WND story also said.

The Garissa bombing took place at the same time it is reported that two Iranians with 33 pounds of explosives were arrested in Kenya. It is thought the two Iranian nationals were aiming to bomb the U. S., British or Saudi embassies.

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