A boy peers into a burnt car at Kibaoni in Mpeketoni after unidentified gunmen attacked the coastal Kenyan town of Mpeketoni, June 16, 2014. REUTERS/Joseph Okanga
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The gunmen went door to door in the Kenyan costal town, demanding to know if the men inside were Muslim and if they spoke Somali.If they did not like the answer, they opened fire, witnesses said Monday.Al-Shabab, a Somali Al-Qaeda-linked group, claimed responsibility for the hourslong assault on Mpeketoni in which 48 people were killed.As reasons, it cited the deployment of Kenyan troops to Somalia and what it called Kenya's extrajudicial killings of Muslim scholars, a charge Nairobi has denied.The merciless life-or-death religious assessment recalled Al-Shabab's attack on an upscale mall in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, last September in which at least 67 people were killed, some of them after not being able to answer questions about Islam.Since those attacks and subsequent terror warnings, tourism has dropped off sharply around Lamu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the country's oldest continually inhabited town.Kenya sent its troops to Somalia in October 2011, and Al-Shabab has threatened attacks inside Kenya until Kenyan forces leave Somalia.
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