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14 killed in Garissa church attacks

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba


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Fourteen people have been killed and over 66 others injured in simultaneous attacks on two churches in Garissa Town.Sources said the balaclava-clad men shot dead two police officers at the African Inland Church (AIC) and used their guns to shoot the worshippers.They also hurled grenades into the churches. The twin attacks on the Our Lady of Consolata Catholic Church and the Garissa AIC took place around 10.20am.In the first instance, three men drove into the AIC compound, two alighted from the vehicle and walked towards the police officers who were seated about 20 metres from the church.They shot them dead with pistols at close range. They then took their firearms, two AK47 rifles loaded with 60 rounds of ammunition, and fired several shot in the air — forcing the congregation to rush towards the back door for safety.They then hurled two grenades into the church and opened fire indiscriminately, killing nine worshippers on the spot.They escaped in their car. The bodies of the victims lay in a heap at the back door of the church, an indication that they were trying to escape from the executioners. Most of them were shot in the head.One of the police officers was identified as Issa Mohammed Aden, who was recently transferred from the Diplomatic Police Unit in Nairobi.He was buried a few hours after the attack at the Technical Muslim Cemetery. The identity of the other officer was withheld until the next of kin are notified of his death. Around the same time, another group hurled two grenades at the Catholic Church but one did not explode. Mr Daniel Munyasia, a guard on duty, said the attackers escaped on foot into a waiting vehicle.This came as security forces scoured the porous border with war-torn Somalia in search of four aid workers kidnapped from Dadaab refugee camp on Friday.