, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 4 – At least seven people including police officers were injured on Sunday after a grenade was hurled at a church in Garissa town.
The attack at Utawala Inter-denominational Church occurred when the grenade ripped through the roof during prayer time, according to a police officer in the region.
“Seven people sustained injuries in the attack,” a police officer said, requesting not to be named because he has no authority to brief the press.
“Most of those injured are police officers because the church is inside an Administration Police camp,” he added.
North Eastern Provincial Police Chief Philip Tuimur confirmed the incident and said a massive security operation was underway in the town.
“We have mobilised our officers to track down the attackers,” he said.
Police said those wounded include the local pastor who was undergoing treatment at the Garissa Provincial General Hospital.
“Three of those injured are in a critical condition,” another police officer said.
Police said witnesses had also reported hearing gunshots during the attack that occurred at about 10 am.
Police believe the attack is the work of Al Shabaab militants or their sympathizers who launched similar attacks in two churches on July 1, killing at least 17 people.
The attacks at the African Inland Church and the Roman Catholic occurred when masked gunmen shot hurled grenades at worshippers.
Two police officers deployed to guard the AIC were also gunned down during the attack.
Grenade attacks and other blasts have become common in Garissa and other border towns since Kenya sent its military to fight Al Shabaab militants in the neighbouring Somalia in October last year.