Al-Shabaab militants murdered three Christians in an attack on a primary school compound in the village of Qarsa, north-east Kenya on 16 February.
Armed men forced their way into a house within the compound of Qarsa Primary School before dawn. Two Christian teachers, Kevin Shari and Seth Oluoch Odada, were shot dead. Seth’s wife Caroline was also brutally murdered – local sources reported, “her head was nearly cut off from the body”. The couple had only recently married.
Al-Shabaab have repeatedly targeted Christian teachers. According to local sources, such attacks are part of a deliberate effort to reduce school attendance, which makes children vulnerable to recruitment by the Somali-based Islamist group. Al-Shabaab are known to make extensive use of child soldiers and the group is reported to have recruited children as young as nine.
On 20 February, the headless body of a man was brought to a hospital in Wajir, the nearest main town, 70km (43 miles) from Qarsa. The man’s identity has not been confirmed, but he is thought to be a Christian.
A source told Barnabas Fund, “Again Lent has begun for us with high drama, pain, and agony from the cruel hands of Al-Shabaab … people, especially Christians, are living in terror”.