Nairobi, Dec 2 (EFE).- The Somali al-Shabab Islamist militant group claimed responsibility for a massacre Tuesday that left at least 36 quarry workers dead near the northern Kenyan town of Mandera.
In a statement on the pro-Islamist Radio Andalus, al-Shabab said some 40 Christian Kenyans were killed in what the group called a "successful operation".
The attack took place in the early hours of Tuesday at a quarry in the Kormey area around 10 miles from Mandera.
Members of the militia separated the Muslim workers from the Christians, and shot or beheaded the latter, Kenya's newspaper reported, citing security sources.
The militants also warned the Kenyan government of killing innocent Muslims, stressing that the group would do whatever it takes to respond to such acts.
Al-Shabab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage said the attack was part of a series of planned operations in Kenya which borders Somalia and that has been targeted by the militants in the past.
The killings occurred 10 days after al-Shabab insurgents attacked a bus and killed 28 of its 60 passengers after identifying the victims as non-Muslims.
The latest terrorist operations took place following weeks of tensions between the police and Muslim youths in Mombasa, the most important port in Kenya and close to major tourist destination.
Al-Shabab, which announced in 2012 its formal accession to al-Qaeda, is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Somalia.
Kenyan police, along with the Kenyan Red Cross, said the attack took place at a quarry in the Kormey area around 10 miles from Mandera, the News newspaper reported.
"36 feared dead in a quarry in Kormey," the Red Cross posted on its official Twitter account.
The victims were ambushed by the armed militants early on Tuesday and some workers were kidnapped by the militant group, according to the newspaper.
The incident occurred 10 days after al-Shabab insurgents attacked a bus and killed 28 of its 60 passengers after identifying them as non-Muslims.