Al Shabaab militants attacked local Muslims on Wednesday in Mwanza Tanzania early morning as they were in the middle of Fajr prayers. This is the second time the same mosque has been targeted with the first attack in 2017 where 3 innocent Muslims including an Imam lost their lives and scores injured.
In the recent incident, Al Shabaab threw a petrol-bomb at Masjid Ibanda followed by bullets on the Muslims praying.
The attack comes barely a week after they had released a video mandatorily directing all the Muslims in East Africa to start preaching Jihad. For those who would not heed the call, there was a warning that they would face ‘dire consequences’.
The Tanzanian police responded to the cries of the locals and repulsed the militants. The militants, however, managed to capture 2 Muslims before disappearing into the bush.
After the smoke had settled, several bodies lay on the ground, amongst them a local Imam and a Sheikh who had been beheaded. 5 people died on the spot while 3 succumbed to their injuries while receiving medical attention. More than 10 people were seriously injured while dozens escaped with minor injuries.
“They have always claimed to be fighting a religious war. They assert they fight ‘infidels’ to protect the entire Muslim fraternity, yet we are the most affected by terrorism across the world.” Said Musa, an eyewitness. He adds that it emerges that what the Al Shabaab fight for is not a religious war, neither are they fighting for Muslims’ rights but instead they are pushing a political agenda.
“Killing, starving and denying us medical services is a sign that they have no Muslim interests at heart.” Adds Zuena, a victim in hospital nursing injuries she suffered during the attack. Reports indicate that it has become harder for the Muslims to practice their religion in Somalia than in any other country.
The Somalis now live in a more pathetic way, they lack peace and the rate of unemployment has skyrocketed. Life was much better when the Al Shabaab was not in Somalia. With the presence of Al Shabaab, things are worse.