In a brave act of defying terror, a group of Kenyan Muslims protected Christians from an attack, saying they were ready to die together, according to witnesses.
A bus headed to Mandera, near the border of Somalia and Ethiopia, was ambushed Monday by Al-Shabaab militants who regularly storm buses, targeting and killing Christians, reported CNN.
But this raid did not go as they planned.
Witnesses said Muslim passengers, many of whom were women, told the attackers to kill them all or leave them alone. With more than 100 people on the bus, the militants ordered the Muslim passengers to step out, leaving the Christians inside.
The Muslims did not comply, instead, according to passenger Abdiqafar Teno, giving the Christian women their hijabs and helping others hide behind bags, according to CNN.
“They told them, ‘If you want to kill us, then kill us. There are no Christians here,'” Teno said.
The Al-Shabaab militants were part of the Somali group designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S., with a goal of turning Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state. Though most buses traveling the route are accompanied by police escort due to the security risks, the police car broke down on this journey leaving the bus an open target.
Kenya’s interior cabinet secretary, Joseph Nkaissery, praised the Muslim Kenyans for their actions.
“We are all Kenyans, we are not separated by religion,” he said. “We are one people as a nation. And this is a very good message from my brothers and sisters from the Muslim community.”
Watch the CNN report, below.
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