Monday, 2 July 2012

17 killed, dozens wounded in Kenya church attacks

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Gunmen killed 17 people and wounded dozens in gun and grenade attacks on two churches on Sunday in the Kenyan town of Garissa near the border with Somalia, AFP reports.
Wearing balaclavas, the attackers killed two armed policemen – posted outside churches following previous attacks – before bursting inside to target worshippers as they held player services.

Witnesses said bodies lay scattered on the floor inside the blood spattered buildings – a Roman Catholic church and an Africa Inland Church.
“It is a terrible scene, you can see bodies lying in the churches,” said regional police chief Leo Nyongesa.
At least 40 people were rushed to hospital, several in a critical condition, the Kenyan Red Cross said.
The Red Cross, which put the death toll at 17, flew the three most critically injured victims by air ambulance to the capital Nairobi.
Three children were reported to be among the dead.
“It is a horrible sight to see,” said Hussein Abdi, a resident of Garissa, some 140 kilometres from the border with war-torn Somalia.
Kenya has suffered a spate of gun, grenade and bomb attacks since sending troops into southern Somalia last October to target Shebab rebels fighting to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in the Horn of Africa state.
Later, the pro-Shebab Twitter site Al-Kataib boasted of a “successful operation in Garissa” but did not specifically claim responsibility. Nairobi has blamed previous assaults on the Al-Qaeda linked Shebab.
Kenyan Vice-President, Kalonzo Musyoka, said on Sunday that the nation “will not be intimidated by such cowardly acts” and urged Kenyans to “exercise religious tolerance.”
The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims condemned the attacks, saying that “all places of worship must be respected.”
“We want to send our condolences, and we are sad that no arrests have been made yet,” said chairman Abdulghafur El-Busaidy.
Police said up to seven men had carried out the attacks which came two days after gunmen killed a Kenyan driver and abducted four foreign aid workers from the Dadaab refugee camp, some 80 kilometres to the northeast.
Last week a grenade blast in a bar in Kenya’s main port of Mombasa killed three people, a day after the US embassy warned of the threat of attack. Punch Nigeria

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