An armed Kenyan policeman walks inside the African Inland Church, as a body of one of those killed in the attack lies on the ground underneath church pews, in Garissa, Kenya, on Sunday, July 1, 2012. Grenade and gunfire attacks on two Kenyan churches near the border with Somalia killed 10 people and wounded 40 on Sunday in what was likely an attack by militants from Somalia, an official said. (AP /Chris Mann)
Islamists stormed a church in Kenya today shooting Sunday worshippers. Gunmen were also waiting outside to shoot the Christians as they fled the church.
The AP reported:
Gunmen killed two policemen guarding a church, snatched their rifles and then opened fire on the congregation from inside and out on Sunday, killing 15 people and wounding 40, security officials said.
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Two gunmen entered the simple wooden church in the city of Garissa at around 10:15 a.m. Sunday, while two others waited outside, police commander Philip Ndolo said. When the congregation fled the attack inside, they ran straight into another hail of bullets from gunmen outside, he said. At least one grenade was detonated in the attack.
Overturned wooden benches littered the church afterward. A victim wearing a simple blue dress lay on the sandy earth outside. Witnesses reported seeing the four gunmen flee in dark blue outfits and masks.
“We were deep in prayers preparing to give our offerings,” said a visibly shaken David Mwange, a churchgoer. “We first had a loud bang from outside which we mistook to be coming from the rooftops. We then had gun shots which made us to lie down. Within no time we had gunshots all over. Everybody was shouting and wailing in pain.”
The bloodiest of the two attacks came against the African Inland Church in Garissa, a city some 195 kilometers (120 miles) west of the Somali border. Ndolo said 15 people were killed and at least 40 wounded. A grenade attack against a second church in Garissa wounded three people.