, GARISSA, Kenya, Jul 1 – At least 12 people, among them two police officers have been shot dead and dozens seriously injured in two separate attacks on churches in Garissa town during Sunday morning services.
Deputy Provincial Police Officer Phillip Ndolo told Capital FM News that the attacks were carried out simultaneously at a Catholic Church and AIC Church.
“We condemn the attacks in the strongest terms possible,” he said.
The deaths occurred at the AIC church where the faithful were shot dead by the suspects as they fled for safety following an attempted grenade attack.
“The guns that the two police officers were carrying were stolen,” Ndolo said.
At the Catholic Church, he said, the injuries occurred as a result of a grenade attack.
“There are five suspects who were involved in the AIC incident while two were involved in the Catholic Church attack,” the Police boss said.
He also said two grenades were hurled but only one exploded.
He said no arrests have been made yet.
An eye witness said at least four masked gunmen wearing blue uniforms then sprayed bullets at the congregation of the AIC church resulting in the deaths and the high number of casualties.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) has condemned the twin attacks on the Garissa churches.
SUPKEM chairman Abdulghafur El-Busaidy said all places of worship must be respected.
“We want to send our condolences and we are sad that no arrests have been made yet,” El Busaidy said in a press conference on Sunday.
“All places of worship must be respected …these criminals’ must get double punishment,” he stated.
The Kenya Defence forces currently in Somalia fighting the Shabaab militia group use Garissa as a base.
Terrorist attacks have become common in Kenya after the country sent its defence forces in October last year to fight the Shabaab militia in Somalia.
About a week ago, the United States embassy in Nairobi warned of an imminent terror attack in the Coastal city of Mombasa.