Breaking News — Churches attacked in Kenya; 18 confirmed dead

SANTA ANA, Calif. (Open Doors USA) — At least 18 people have died while 66 have been wounded in Kenya’s north-eastern town of Garissa on Sunday when assailants burst into the Africa Inland Church (AIC) and Catholic Church, shooting at worshipers with firearms and detonating grenades. Two policemen guarding the AIC churches were among those killed. Four of the injured are in critical condition in Nairobi hospitals.

Details are still emerging, but eye witnesses told Open Doors USA in telephone interviews that the attackers approached the AIC church, shot the two policemen guarding the church at point blank range, took their guns and started shooting at worshipers. As the church-goers realized what was going on, they tried to flee. Many were shot dead as they attempted to escape.

The attackers threw at least four grenades into the church. Two detonated while two were found intact.

At the Catholic Church the attackers apparently jumped over a fence and started shooting at people standing near the church. Three church members were killed before the attackers fled.

“These brazen attacks on innocent Christian worshipers are horrific,” said Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller. “The area near the border of Somalia and Kenya is becoming a killing field as well as a place where many aid workers are being kidnapped. While attacks on churches in Nigeria have held our attention over the last few months, attacks on Christians have increased in the Somalia/Kenya border area. Please pray for the families of the victims.”

There is speculation about the attackers being linked to the Somali rebel militant group al-Shabaab. Kenya has suffered a number of abductions and gun, grenade and bomb attacks since October 2011 when the government sent troops into southern Somalia to target al-Shabaab, which is fighting its UN-backed government.

Although Christians are shocked by these events, church leaders do appear strong in the midst of the chaos.


About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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