Church shooting in Kenya leaves seven dead

April 2, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

kenyaKenya, March 27, 2014: Balaclava-clad gunmen stormed a church in Kenya during a service on Sunday morning; two people were killed at the scene, and a further five later succumbed to their injuries.

The attackers descended on Joy in Jesus Church in Likoni near Mombasa at around 10am. They killed a 60-year-old watchman before shooting into the congregation as well as at those standing outside. One of the attackers shouted, “Allahu Akhbar” (“Allah is great”).

Assistant pastor Phillip Musasa was among those who died. Scores were injured, among them 15 who were hospitalised, including women and children. A young boy, whose mother was killed, had a bullet lodged in his head.

The pastor’s wife, Lilian Omondi, told the Daily Nation that one of the attackers entered the church building by the back door:

I came face to face with him. Luckily, I escaped unhurt as he started the random shooting aiming at anybody and everything in sight.

The gunmen tried to attack another nearby church but were deterred by armed police.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabaab has committed numerous attacks against Christians and other targets in Kenya. Police said Likoni had one of the country’s active terror cells, where youths are recruited to join al-Shabaab.

Over 100 suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident, which has prompted renewed calls for armed guards at churches in Kenya as the country is beset by widespread insecurity.

Last month, Lawrence Kazungu Kadenge (59), an assistant pastor at a church in Mombasa, was murdered in the violent aftermath of a police raid on a local mosque; the Masjid Musa was believed to be holding a youth recruitment forum for al-Shabaab.

Kenya has been a leading force in military efforts to drive al-Shabaab out of Somalia, and the militants have retaliated with deadly attacks on Kenyan soil, most notably the siege at theWestgate shopping centre in September 2013 in which dozens of non-Muslims were killed.

– barnabas team

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