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Monday, October 1, 2012

Church Blast Kills, Wounds 10 Children


The grenade attack took place in a church situated next to the Eastleigh quarter, nicknamed "little Mogadishu."

The attack killed one child and wounded nine others in a Nairobi church on Sunday, a day after Islamist fighters abandoned their last bastion in neighbouring Somalia in the face of an assault by Kenyan and other troops.

The blast occurred during a service for young children at the Anglican St. Polycarp church, which lies in Pangani on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital.

Blood-stained children's jackets and shoes lay scattered on the floor, surrounded by remnants of metal walls that were broken and twisted by the force of the explosion.

"One child has died and three others have been seriously injured," Nairobi police chief Moses Nyakwama said. "We suspect it was a grenade."

A church official said nine children had been wounded. "The children who attend this service are aged between six and 10... we usually divide them according to their ages," said Livingstone Muiruri. "They had just started the morning session when the explosion occurred."

"We were in the main church so we all ran there to assist the kids," he said. "We have nine children admitted to hospital." Janet Wanja was just entering the church when the blast shook the building. "I heard a loud explosion and then heard kids screaming," she said. "I am traumatised by what I saw, kids with injuries and blood all over. "Why are they attacking the church?"

Police were also investigating the possibility that the blast was a result of a bomb that had been placed in the building earlier, Haed of Police Operations in Nairobi, Wilfred Mbithi said. The church lies next to the Eastleigh quarter, nicknamed "little Mogadishu" because most residents are either Somali refugees or Kenyans of Somali origin.

Read the full report here.



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