Blast in Kenya's Garissa kills one: official

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 04, 2012 7:36 AM
Blast in Kenya's Garissa kills one: official

By Abdisalan Ahmed

GARISSA, Kenya (Reuters) - A suspected grenade attack on a church in the eastern Kenyan town of Garissa killed one and injured at least 11 people on Sunday, the Kenya Red Cross and a local official said.

Militants have staged several attacks since Kenya sent troops into Somalia a year ago to fight al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab rebels following raids and kidnappings in the border region that threatened tourism and wider regional instability.

Three of the 11 injured people at Garissa's district hospital needed to be evacuated by air and the hospital urgently needed blood, the Kenya Red Cross said.

Garissa County Commissioner Mohamud Maalim said one of those injured, a police chaplain, had later died from his wounds.

"Those who carried out these attacks are people living in this town. We urge the public to cooperate with security officers. There is no justification for an attack on a worship center," Maalim said.

Two television channels said the Utawala Interdenominational Church - which is in a police compound - had been attacked and that for some time after the blast, gunfire could be heard at the scene of the attack. No one from the police was immediately available to comment.

In September, a grenade attack on a church in Nairobi by suspected al Shabaab sympathizers killed a nine-year-old boy. In July, attacks on two churches in Garissa killed 17.

(Additional reporting by George Obulutsa in Nairobi and Noor Ali in Isiolo; Editing by Andrew Osborn)