Somali Al Shabaab militants said Tuesday in a statement that they were behind the killing of 36 Kenyans in Mandera county in northern Kenya.
In a statement issued from the southern port city of Kismayo in Somalia, the Islamist group said its fighters raided a quarry workers` camp at Koromey area in the outskirts of Mandera county at midnight and killed those workers.
“In another successful operation carried out by the Mujahideen, nearly 40 Kenyan crusaders met their demise after a unit from the Saleh Nabhan brigade raided them in the midnight Monday at Koromey on the outskirts of Mandera,” Xinhua quoted Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage as saying in the statement.
The militants said the latest attack was part of a series of attacks planned and executed to serve as a response to Kenya`s occupation of Muslim lands and their ongoing atrocities against Muslims in the Kenya`s coastal city of Mombasa and Somalia.
Earlier Tuesday, Kenya police confirmed that at least 36 construction workers were killed in the early morning attack in northern Kenya.
Noah Mwivanda, Mandera county police commander, said the workers were killed at 1 a.m. by a group of gunmen when they were sleeping at a quarry at Koromey, about 20 km from Mandera county bordering Somalia.
He said initial investigations have revealed that the construction workers, all men, were killed after being ambushed by heavily armed militants.
Kenya has witnessed several attacks since 2011 when it participated in fights against the Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia.
The scene of the latest attack is about 30 km from the Nov 22 raid on a bus in which 28 non-Muslims were separated from the Muslim travellers before being executed.
Al Shabaab had claimed responsibility for the bus attack too.
The shooting in the quarry comes after an attack on a night club in the Kenyan town of Wajir Monday night.
One person was killed and at least 12 injured as gunmen hurled grenades and sprayed bullets at the building.