Al Shabaab terrorists killed four Christians, beheading one, in an attack in a Kenyan coastal town, according to witnesses.

It was in the middle of the night when five or six militants wearing military uniform who spoke Somali stormed a home in the Kaisari area of Kenya’s Maporomoko village, 25 miles away from the Indian Ocean town of Lamu, a surviving Christian victim who was shot in the right hand told Morning Star News.

The assailants shot two of the men to death, beheaded the third and killed at least one other man when they set his house on fire, according to the source.

“This is the third time the area has been attacked, and we have lost several Christians,” he said.

Al Shabaab has become increasingly active since an African coalition, including Kenyan forces, went into Somalia in October 2011 to combat the extremists who have since killed upwards of 50 Christians in attacks on hotels and other buildings.

 

Al Shabaab, an affiliate of Al Qaeda who linked up to headquarters in 2012, now is experiencing a large rift within their ranks with segments of the terror group pledging loyalty to the Islamic State while the rest continue to see ISIS as a rival group, competing over funding and the recruitment of foreign fighters.

 

Simultaneously, Al Shabaab is currently fighting Somali government forces nearby and considers Kenya’s coastal territory as its own Islamic territory.

“It reflects a growing trend of anti-Christian violence by Al Shabaab and Somali sympathizers against soft targets in Kenya,” Jeff Sellers, editor of Morning Star News told The Foreign Desk.

“Due to Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia there is an anti-Kenyan, nationalist motive in such attacks, but in most of them they also select out Christians for their faith as the enemy. In this case, the motive was also part of the jihadist quest to claim territory for Islam on the coast,” he said.

Authorities suspect that Al Shabaab was behind this week’s bomb blast that forced an Airbus A321 into an emergency landing in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu.

The presence of Islamic extremist groups like Al Shabaab in Kenya has Maporomoko’s population of 2,000 Christians concerned as other sources have reported that the Islamic rebels have been targeting Christian areas, kidnapping Christians and burning homes down.