NAIROBI, Kenya — Dozens of extremists attacked a Kenyan coastal town for hours, killing those who couldn't answer questions about Islam and those who didn't know the Somali language, officials and witnesses said Monday. At least 48 people were killed and two hotels were set on fire.
The assault in Mpeketoni began Sunday night as residents watched World Cup matches on TV and lasted until early Monday, with little resistance put up by Kenya's security forces. Cars and buildings still smoldered at daybreak.
Authorities blamed al-Shabab, Somalia's al-Qaida-linked terror group, who have vowed to carry out terror attacks to avenge the Kenyan military presence in Somali. Along with its Somali fighters, the group also has many Kenyan adherents.
Like the gunmen who attacked Nairobi's Westgate Mall last year, the Mpeketoni attackers gave life-or-death religious tests, a witness said, killing those who were not Muslim.
Kenya's top police commander, David Kimaiyo, said the death toll was 48. A police spokeswoman said authorities believe that several dozen attackers took part.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.