‘Saudis arrested’ over Tanzania church terror bombing

May 7, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-world, Persecution

Four Saudi Arabian nationals have been arrested in connection with a bomb attack on a Tanzanian church that the country’s president has called “an act of terror”.

Wounded churchgoers lie on the ground as Roman Catholic nuns run for cover after a blast at the St. Joseph Mfanyakazi Roman Catholic Church in Arusha, TanzaniaTanzania, May 07, 2013: Vatican’s ambassador to Tanzania was at the Roman Catholic church in Arusha, which had just been built and was holding its first mass, when the bomb went off.

He was unharmed, but two people died and 30 were injured in the first significant such raid on Tanzania’s Christian community at worship.

Magesa Mulongo, the Arusha regional commissioner, said on Monday that six people had been arrested, two Tanzanians and four Saudis.

“Investigations are ongoing,” Mr Mulongo told the French news agency AFP in Arusha town, a popular tourist destination for visitors heading to the Serengeti or Ngorongoro wildife areas, or planning to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.

There have been a series of violent incidents between Tanzania’s Christians and Muslims, who make up roughly equal proportions of the population of 48 million people.

– the telegraph

Two killed in Tanzania church attack. Over 50 injured: Saudis held for ‘act of terror’

wounded people in the attackEight people – including four Saudi nationals – have been arrested over an explosion that killed two people at a church in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha on Sunday, police say.

President Jakaya Kikwete condemned the blast as an “act of terrorism”.

No group has said it was behind the explosion, which left at least 50 people wounded.

Militant attacks are relatively rare in Tanzania, unlike neighbouring Kenya and Somalia.

Al-Qaeda-linked suicide bombers killed more than 200 people in simultaneous attacks in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.

Tanzania has seen a rise in sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims in the past year.

There are no official records of religious affiliation in Tanzania so it is not clear whether Muslims or Christians form the majority.

Eight people – including four Saudi nationals – have been arrested over an explosion that killed two people at a church in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha on Sunday, police say.

President Jakaya Kikwete condemned the blast as an “act of terrorism”.

No group has said it was behind the explosion, which left at least 50 people wounded.

Militant attacks are relatively rare in Tanzania, unlike neighbouring Kenya and Somalia.

Al-Qaeda-linked suicide bombers killed more than 200 people in simultaneous attacks in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.

Tanzania has seen a rise in sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims in the past year.

There are no official records of religious affiliation in Tanzania so it is not clear whether Muslims or Christians form the majority.

Arusha regional police commissioner Liberatus Sabas told the BBC that eight people – four Saudis and four Tanzanians – had been arrested, as investigations continue into the blast.

The explosion occurred at the official opening of the new Roman Catholic church in the suburb of Olasiti in Arusha, which is mainly Christian.

The Vatican’s ambassador to Tanzania and the archbishop of Arusha were attending, but were not hurt.

Eyewitnesses said a bomb had been thrown from a motorcycle, AP news agency reports.

The attack happened despite heavy security presence in the area.

Mr Kikwete said he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the blast.

“We are ready to deal with all criminals, including terrorists and their agents, who are based in the country or externally,” he added.

Last month, police in southern Tanzania used teargas to disperse about 200 Christian rioters attempting to set fire to a mosque following a dispute over animal slaughtering.

In February, a Catholic priest was shot in the head on the largely Muslim island of Zanzibar.

Last year Muslim cleric Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda was arrested over attacks on churches, following rumours that a Christian boy had urinated on a copy of the Koran.

– bbc

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