NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Gunmen killed two policemen guarding a church, snatched their rifles and then opened fire on the congregation with bullets and grenades on Sunday, killing at least 15 people and wounding at least 40, security officials said. Militants from Somalia were immediately suspected.
Attackers threw two grenades inside the church, only one of which exploded, Cmdr. Ndolo said. But as the congregation stampeded out of the church, gunmen opened fire, doing significantly more damage. Fifteen people died and about 37 were wounded at the church, Cmdr. Ndolo said.
Another security official, though, said that two attackers walked up to the two policemen guarding the church, shot them at point-blank range and took their rifles. The gunmen then opened fire on the church and threw the grenades. The official spoke only on condition he wasn’t identified because he is not allowed to speak to media.
At a second church in Garissa, another grenade was thrown, wounding three people, Cmdr. Ndolo said.
Garissa is one of two major Kenyan towns near the border with Somalia. It lies just to the west of the Dadaab refugee camp, which houses nearly 500,000 Somali refugees. On Friday, armed attackers kidnapped four international workers with the Norwegian Refugee Council and are believed to have taken them over the border into Somalia.
Areas of northern and eastern Kenya along the border with Somalia have suffered a series of gunfire and grenade attacks over the past year. Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October to hunt al-Shabab fighters. The militants, who are allied with al Qaeda, have threatened repeatedly to carry out revenge attacks for Kenya‘s push into Somalia. Sunday’s attacks appear to be part of that trend.
Associated Press reporter Tom Odula contributed to this report.
By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Video reviews of today's hottest trends in Minecraft (servers and mods) along with a look at the latest video games with your host MCairsoft14 (alias Jerad Zad).
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention