Published: 09:40 GMT Daylight Time - Wednesday 02 May 2012
Infiltrator in Kenyan church throws grenade at congregation
Country/Region: Africa, Kenya
At least one person was killed and 15 injured in a grenade attack on a Kenyan church by an infiltrator in the congregation.
The incident at God’s House of Miracle Church in the capital, Nairobi, happened during a service on Sunday (29 April).
|The attack happened in the Ngara neighbourhood of Nairobi
CC BY 2.0 / Fiona Bradley
Joseph Gichangi, the area’s deputy police chief, said:
We have been told that the person who threw the grenade was part of the congregation and he fled immediately after throwing it.
The blast shattered windows and overturned chairs in the building, which police estimated could hold more than 200 people. The wounded were rushed to hospital by other worshippers; five of them were said to be in a critical condition.
Members of the congregation tried to detain the suspected bomber after the explosion, but he fled, and when they pursued him, he pointed a gun at them, so they desisted.
The attack follows a similar incident at an open-air gathering involving over 150 Christians in Mtwapa, near Mombasa, on 31 March; two people were killed and around 50 wounded when Muslims threw a grenade into the congregation as the meeting was drawing to a close.
The Kenyan authorities believe that a recent spate of small arms attacks and explosions in the country are the retaliatory work of Somalia’s al-Shabaab militants; the Kenyan government sent troops across the border to fight them in October.
If that is indeed the case, it is not surprising that Christians in Kenya are being targeted given al-Shabaab’s aggression towards Christians in Somalia. The group has been behind the murder of numerous converts from Islam to Christianity, and has stated explicitly that it aims "to get rid of the barbaric and non-Islamic culture in the country".
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