George Karidhimba Muriki, assistant pastor of Maximum Revival Ministries Church, was shot by gunmen believed to be part of the extremist group Al-Shabaab in Mombasa, Kenya, according to reports of PostStar.
According to ABC News, Officer Henry Ondiek told the press that the pastor was shot at the entrance of Mvita Primary School, despite it being guarded by police. The school hosts the Maximum Revival Church, a mosque, and another church.
Al Shabaab, a militant Islamic group from Somalia, has been creating havoc in Kenya and Christians have been among their targets. Since Kenya has deployed troops to Somalia in 2011 to fight against the group, Kenya has suffered from a series of attacks - claimed by the group to be their retribution and retaliation to defend their Muslim brothers.
In an interview with Release International, a UK-based group supporting persecuted Christians around the world, a Mombasa bishop identified only as Elisha for security reasons said the church had become "soft targets" of the group.
"These are Muslim youths who have been radicalised," Elisha told Release. "Al Shabaab are recruiting and training many in Somalia."
The bishop further told Release that Al Shabaab was recruiting youths in Kenya, and training them to spy on church activities and lead the group to their next target.
According to Release International, church officials have increased their security and pleaded for help in providing professional trauma counseling to the victims' family.
Last November, the Islamic group killed 28 passengers boarding a Nairobi-bound bus. Passengers were dragged out of the bus and forced to recite verses in Koran. Those who were unable to do so were executed.
Days after the incident, they also killed 36 Christians and non-Muslims at a quarry shooting them at close range while the laborers were lined up.
Bishop Elisha has urged a peaceful response.