Special Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
|(Photo: Reuters/Chris Mann)|
NAIROBI, KENYA (ANS) -- A nine-year-old boy was killed and at least three other children were seriously injured in a grenade attack on a Sunday school in Nairobi yesterday (Sept.30).
Suspected Islamist militants attacked St Polycarp's Church on Juja Road during a worship service for children aged between six and ten.
Witnesses reported a loud explosion then 'people started running for their lives'. A total of nine children were hospitalized, as reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP) according to Release Internationalwww.releaseinternational.org.
The news report says police blamed sympathizers of Al Shabaab extremists in neighboring Somalia, angered by Kenya's role in UN-backed efforts to oust the group. The previous day, Al Shabaab was driven from Kismayo, its last urban stronghold in Somalia.
St Polycarp's is near Eastleigh, a district of Nairobi popularly known as 'Little Mogadishu' due to its many Somali immigrants.
Nairobi officials appealed for calm after youths reportedly attacked a nearby mosque and homes in apparent retaliation for the grenade attack, the report states.
In July, suspected Al Shabaab extremists killed 15 people in raids on churches in Garissa, a town near the Somali border.
Archbishop of Kenya Condems attack on St Polycarp
Following the incident, Archbishop Dr. Eliud Wabukala joined other religious leaders in condemning the explosive attack.
Earlier in the day, Archbishop Wabukala, and Bishop Joel Waweru of Nairobi Diocese visited and prayed with four of the six children still admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital, Children's Ward.
In a statement released today at the scene of the explosion, he stated that Kenya is a multi-religious society and termed the attacks as 'atrocities whose perpetrators should face the full rigor of the law.' He called upon the Government to offer adequate security since asking citizens to be vigilant is not sufficient.
"This is a cruel provocation, but I appeal to Christians not to feed violence with violence, either in word or deed, because we are called to overcome evil with good," he commented.
Nairobi Provincial Commissioner Mr. Njoroge Ndirangu and Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims Secretary General Sheikh Adan Wachu gathered at the scene and expressed their disapproval of the attack.
Bishop Waweru and Provincial Commissioner Ndirangu later visited the bereaved family who lost a nine-year-old son, Ian Maina. Ian succumbed to injuries after the explosive device was hurled.
. Ask God to heal and comfort all those injured or bereaved in yesterday's attack. Pray particularly for the parents of the boy who died.
. Thank God for the success of military efforts to rout Islamist militants from Somalia. Pray that the Al Shabaab bid to extend strict Islamic law across Somalia will not succeed.