Sixteen people were injured when an explosive device was hurled at an open-air crusade in Likoni, Mombasa.
The attack outside Earthquake Miracle Ministries at Mrima area happened on Sunday evening. Six of the injured were said to be in serious condition.
Many of those with slight injuries sustained them during the pandemonium as they fled the scene after the 7pm attack.
Sources said there were about 50 people at the crusade at the time.
One of the faithful, Lenny Joy, 21, who was among those attending the crusade, said he heard a loud bang and saw smoke after the explosive landed near Pastor Collins Maseno.
“We had completed the day’s crusade and I was standing behind the pastor when a deafening sound hit my ears,” he said.
The pastor was one of those who sustained seriously injuries.
There were conflicting reports about how the terror attack was executed.
Mr Joy said it was carried out by two people riding a motorcycle from the sprawling Mrima Village. They hurled the explosive as they rode by the main entrance of the church.
However, other witnesses said it was thrown from behind the church.
Mr Joy said he fled the scene, but returned on realising he was bleeding. He was given first aid treatment by the Kenya Red Cross medical officers before being taken to the Coast General Hospital.
A Red Cross official told the Nation he suffered multiple body injuries caused by shrapnel from the explosive.
Another victim, Mr Martin Joseph, a student at Ushindi Baptist Secondary School, was injured on the right leg and had difficulties walking. He was also treated by the Red Cross team.
Two other victims, Abner Ogisa and Reagan Okoth, said the explosive was thrown from behind the church.
“We were engrossed in the closing prayer by Bishop Osano when the bomb fell at the feet of Pastor Maseno before it went off,” Mr Ogisa said.
The Reverend Ephraim Chuma of the neighbouring PAG Church said he had just settled in his office when he heard the blast.
He rushed to the scene and found a number of people writhing in pain.
“Those of us who reached here immediately made arrangements to rush the victims to the nearest health facilities of Bomu Clinic and Likoni District Hospital,” he said.
Speaking after the Anti-Terrorist Unit bomb experts conducted the initial investigation, Coast provincial police officer in-charge of operations Angelus Karuru said the attackers used an improvised explosive device.
“We are still piecing the facts together, but our initial investigations indicate what was hurled at the open-air crusade was an improvised explosive device and thus the minimal impact,” he said.
He said no arrests had been made, but police were following leads from the victims and witnesses they had interviewed.
A contingent of armed police officers ringed the area as curious wananchi milled around the scene.
This attack follows another that happened towards the end of last year at Shonda, near the Likoni Approved School where a police officer was killed when a grenade was hurled at their vehicle.
Source: Daily Nation
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