Christian students at a high school in Nairobi, Kenya were allegedly attacked by Muslim students wielding knives and machetes after they refused to convert to Islam.
According to Morning Star News, the attack took place on Jan. 23 at Jamhuri High School, where tensions had been growing for weeks, with some Muslim students complaining of discrimination.
The boarding school had decided to designate separate bathrooms and library sections for Christians and Muslims due to the increasing hostilities, but violence erupted one night when Muslim students reportedly tried forcing Christians to recite the Islamic creed for conversion and take part in Muslim cleansing rituals.
"Some Muslim students forcefully tried to induct Christian students into their Islam faith, and those who refused were knifed, while others were physically beaten. The knives and machetes used are alleged to have come from outside the school," an unnamed source told Morning Star News.
At least 35 students were injured in the incident after the Christian students tried to defend themselves. The source noted that some Christian students were sent to the hospital for stab wounds and dislocated bones, and some of the Muslim students were also injured.
The school's principal, Fred Awuor, also received treatment at a hospital for injuries he sustained during the brawl. The school has been closed indefinitely as the authorities investigate the cause of the attack.
According to Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, some students complained of segregation based on religious beliefs and demanded equal treatment when it comes to religion, sharing of school facilities such as dining hall, library, and washrooms.
The school administration, however, refuted the claims and vowed to carry out thorough investigations into the violent clashes.
As of Wednesday, classes at the school has not resumed and security guards have reportedly received instructions not to let anyone enter the compound.
Kenyan Christians have suffered several attacks from radical Muslims in the past few years. In 2015, at least 148 people were killed at Garissa University when al-Shabaab militants specifically hunted down Christian students.
In July 2017, seven Christians were killed when the same group went on a door-to-door raid in villages in Kenya.
In one incident last May, a Muslim teacher reportedly tried to protect Christians from an attack by members of al-Shabaab.
One Christian teacher had already been killed when the group attacked Fafi Primary School in Fafi, but a Muslim teacher saved another Christian teacher by telling the militants that he was ready to die with his colleague.
"The al-Shabaab got angry, and told the teacher, 'We are going to teach you a lesson for protecting the infidels,' and immediately the two were carried away to an unknown destination," a source told Morning Star News at the time.