Three village elders have been shot and killed, by suspected al-Shabaab militants, in Kenya.
Suspected al-Shabaab militants shot and killed three village elders, including a Muslim cleric, in Kenya’s coastal region on suspicion of helping security agencies fight the insurgents, police said on Monday.
Village chairman Juma Mwanyota, religious leader Hassan Mwasanite and a member of local neighbourhood security group, Mohammed Manguze, were shot and killed separately on Sunday in Kwale county, south of Kenya’s port city Mombasa.
Kwale county police chief Joseph Omija said they believed the killers were young recruits who had returned to Kenya from training by al-Shabaab in Somalia.
“They (the suspects) think these elders have information about them which they are sharing with us and other security agencies, and that is why they are targeting them,” Omija told Reuters by phone.
Al-Shabaab has said in the past its frequent attacks in Kenya are in retaliation for Kenya sending its troops into Somalia in 2011. They are now part of an African Union peacekeeping force. Several raids targeted coastal sites.