NAIROBI, Kenya — Somalia's al-Shabab Islamists said they staged an attack in Kenya on Saturday in which gunmen ordered non-Muslims off a bus and shot 28 dead, while sparing Muslim passengers. Three of the group led out to be killed saved their lives by reciting verses of the Koran for the militants, a local security official said. Al-Shabab said its men had ambushed the Nairobi-bound bus outside Mandera town, near Kenya's border with Somalia and Ethiopia, and killed the non-Muslims in retaliation for raids on mosques in the port city of Mombasa.
Early this week, police in Mombasa shot dead a man and arrested over 376 others when they searched four mosques in the port city that they said were being used to recruit militants and stash weapons. "The Mujahideen successfully carried out an operation near Mandera early this morning, which resulted in the perishing of 28 crusaders, as a revenge for the crimes committed by the Kenyan crusaders against our Muslim brethren in Mombasa," Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, al-Shabab's spokesman, said in a statement. Islamist militants use the term "crusaders" to describe Christians or non-Muslims in general.
Police Inspector General David Kimaiyo told reporters that 19 men and nine women were killed. "Preliminary reports indicate that the attackers, who were heavily armed, later fled toward the border into Somali," he said.
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