, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 – The postmortem of the 28 people killed by Al Shabaab militia in Mandera will be conducted on Monday at the Chiromo Mortuary.
Their families will thereafter be allowed to pick up the bodies for burial.
Most of the victims were teachers and healthcare workers who were making their way to Nairobi when the attack occurred at dawn on Saturday.
Gunmen seized a bus in north-eastern Kenya near the Somali border early Saturday and executed 28 non-Muslim passengers with the police blaming the attack on Shabaab Islamic extremists.
“Any place of worship whether it is a church, mosque or Synagogue that is being used as an armoury for weapons and as a platform for rhetoric that goes into hurting and killing Kenyans does not deserve to be a place of worship. It generates into a scene of crime,” Deputy President William Ruto stated while pointing out that the government will not allow places of worship to be hijacked by criminals bent on destroying the country.
The attack came after a week that saw one person shot dead and more than 350 people arrested as Kenyan security forces carried out raids on mosques in the port city of Mombasa searching for weapons and Shabaab supporters.
Kenya has suffered a series of attacks since invading Somalia in 2011 to attack the Shabaab, later joining an African Union force battling the Islamists.
The Shabaab carried out the September 2013 attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall, killing at least 67 people as a warning to Kenya to pull its troops out of southern Somalia.
During the Westgate attack, the gunmen weeded out non-Muslims for execution by demanding they recite the Shahada, the Muslim profession of faith.
According to the Deputy President, the recent security operations had discovered armouries in mosques where guns, grenades and bomb-making materials, crude weapons including machetes and knives were kept.
Ruto said that other radicalized propaganda literature and Al Shabaab insignia including flags not holy books were found stored in these houses of worship.
The Deputy President however noted that the government has no intention of taking over places of worship, but warned those opposing measures being undertaken by security forces in a cleanup operation.
He stated that leadership comes with responsibility and adding such individuals should cease from whipping up emotions amongst communities, and to offer terrorists and their sympathisers a false sense of comfort.
The camp that was being used by the attackers who executed 28 Kenyans travelling in a bus in Mandera was destroyed by the Kenya Defence Forces.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku stated that the camp inside Somalia and near the border was destroyed using helicopters and jets with reports of many criminals killed.
Lenku pointed out that the operation will continue until all the criminals who did the heinous act are dealt with.