|Samuel Arachi:Administration Police Commandant|
At least nine worshippers were injured on Sunday in a grenade attack on a church in northern town of Garissa near the border with Somalia. An eye witness told Xinhua that suspected Al-Shabaab militants hurled a grenade on the roof top of a structure in the Anti-Shifta Administration of Police (AP) camp in Garissa, injuring nine including a pastor at the Utawala Interdenominational Church.
The structure is usually used on Sunday as a prayer house by officers and their families since it is located inside the AP compound.
"We were about 30 worshippers inside the church when unknown persons hurled grenades on the rooftop and then what followed was gunshots. All worshippers had to lie down amid total confusion," Bett Mwasi who was one of the worshippers told Xinhua.
He said the grenades were thrown from outside and penetrated the iron sheets of the church and landed inside the church, forcing worshipers to scamper for safety.
"There was totally confusion. Some people including an Administration Police were injured and have been rushed to the hospital. The thugs escaped after hurling the grenades and then followed it with gunshots to scare away the rescues," Mwasi said.
Regional police commander, Philip Tuimur confirmed the incident saying security forces have been mobilized to pursue the attackers.
"We have rushed to injured to the hospital and also mobilized police officers who pursue the attackers. No arrests have been made but the search is underway," Tuimur said.
The latest incident comes barely a week after a police officer was shot dead and another injured by unknown gunmen.
Kenya's northern region particularly Garissa County has of late witnessed a spate of grenade and gun attack on innocent Kenyans, refugees and the police over the past two weeks which are seen as retaliatory attacks from the embattled Al-Shabaab militia in Somalia since the capture of the port city of Kismayo.
More than 25 security officers and scores of civilians have been killed, many maimed and property worth millions of U.S. dollars were destroyed in Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Nairobi and Mombasa since the Kenyan soldiers entered Somalia in a bid to forestall dangers facing from threats of al-Qaida linked Somali militant group, Al-Shabaab.
And an Egyptian Bishop Tawadros of the northern Beheira governorate was chosen as the 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church here on Sunday.
A 60-year-old auxiliary bishop to the acting head of the Coptic Church, Bishop Tawadros was one of the three finalists for the post. The other two contenders were Bishop Raphael, a 54-year- old former aide to late Pope Shenuda III, and Father Raphael Ava Mina, a 70-year-old monk from Alexandria.
Late Pope Shenuda III died this March from liver and lung problems, which he had suffered for years. He was born in 1923 and was enthroned as Pope Shenuda III, the pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the St. Mark in 1971.
Coptic Christians account for about 10 percent of Egypt's 80 million population. (Xinhua)