36 arrested over Garissa blasts

July 3, 2012 2:24 pm
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The suspects were arrested in a crackdown conducted since Monday in the border town which has witnessed cases of insecurity since last week/PMPS

, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 3 – Police have arrested 36 suspects in ongoing investigations over the weekend grenade attacks inside two churches in Garissa where 17 people were killed.

The suspects were arrested in a crackdown conducted since Monday in the border town which has witnessed cases of insecurity since last week.

“We have been carrying out a crackdown and we have arrested several suspects who are being interrogated,” Philip Ndolo, deputy police chief for North Eastern said.

The suspects were being interrogated to establish if they were involved in the attacks or have information that can help officers trace the attackers.

Police have intensified a man hunt for the attackers who fired bullets and hurled grenades at church goers, killing 17 of them.

“Those held are suspects assisting us in the investigation,” he said.

Those killed in the attacks include two police officers who were guarding one of the churches.

More than fifty other worshippers were wounded in the attacks that occurred simultaneously in the Catholic and African Inland Churches (AIC) in Garissa town.

“The guns that the two police officers were carrying were stolen and used to shoot at the worshippers,” Ndolo said.

“There are five suspects who were involved in the AIC incident while two were involved in the Catholic Church attack,” Ndolo said.

Eye witnesses told police at least four masked gunmen wearing blue uniforms sprayed bullets at the congregation of the AIC church resulting in the deaths and the high number of casualties.

The attacks have been condemned by the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), the Catholic Church leadership and AIC authorities.

The attacks are largely blamed on Al Shabaab militants and muslim extremists furious at the military incursion inside their lawless Somalia where they are fighting under the AMISOM mandate.

Kenya has vowed it will not withdraw its troops, despite the continuous attacks by the Al Shabaab who have vowed even more attacks on Kenyan soil.

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