On May 19, members of the Somali terrorist group al Shabab entered Hulugho village in eastern Kenya and herded all the villagers they could find into a mosque. Al Shabab has entered Kenyan towns before, usually in a frenzy of murder and arson, before withdrawing into the bush. Hulugho seemed set to suffer a similar fate.
This time, however, the gunmen merely delivered a two-hour sermon to their captive audience and then left. Three days later, al Shabab fighters occupied the village of Yumbis for eight hours, the group’s spokesman claims. About a month ago, fighters repeated the process in Mangai village, forcing villagers into a mosque for a haranguing before leaving without harming anyone. In Mandera County, the group appears to be routinely occupying and patrolling Warankara village, and then slipping away peacefully.
Since Kenya invaded Somalia in 2011 to root out al Shabab, the group has sought every opportunity
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