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Muslim passengers refuse to be separated from Christians during Kenyan bus attack

Muslim passengers on a bus attacked by Islamist militants in Kenya would not split into a group separate from Christian passengers, a move that a local governor believes saved lives.

The bus was traveling from Nairobi to Mandera on Monday when the attack occurred in the village of El Wak on the Somali border. The gunmen ordered everyone off the bus, but the passengers told them they wanted to be killed together or left alone. "The locals showed a sense of patriotism and belonging to each other," Mandera governor Ali Roba told the Kenyan paper Daily Nation. He said the militants left after the passangers refused to split up, . Two people were killed, an employee of the bus company told the BBC, with one victim shot as he tried to run away.

Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack. The BBC reports that this is the latest violent incident in the area. Last year, 2,000 teachers and several health workers left Mandera after Christians, having been separated from Muslims, were killed in a brutal attack.