AFRICANGLOBE – The death toll in yesterday’s terrorist attack at a church in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa has risen to four after two more worshippers succumbed to injuries while receiving treatment at the hospital.Police and Kenya Red Cross reported that at least 17 people were in critical condition at the Coast General Hospital .
Three armed gunmen stormed Joy Jesus Church and opened fire arbitrarily at worshippers killing two on the spot, police officers said.
“I heard gunshots and immediately they started shooting at us those who attempted to escape were shot from behind,” Lillian Omondi, a worshipper told reporters at the scene.
Police commander Robert Mureithi said the gunmen forcefully entered the church through a rear door, and fired bullets at worshippers during the morning service.
He said he gunmen had attempted to attack another church, JCC Likoni, situated just a few metres away but were repulsed by police.
“Upon noticing the presence of officers they fired several shots to disperse locals before escaping to a residential area,” Mureithi said in Mombasa after the latest incident which has caused tension in the tourism resort.
The church that had over 200 worshippers was sealed off by detectives and guarded by paramilitary officers as police dusted for evidence.
Police recovered 27 spent cartridges fired from an AK-47 inside the church. At least eight cartridges were collected from the altar.
The savages dropped 30 rounds of pistol ammunition, wrapped in a box, as they fled the scene.
The gunmen are believed to be Al-Shabaab terrorists according to the security and witness accounts. Police described the ring leader as tall and slender, wearing a long-sleeved shirt and armed with an AK-47 rifle.
Police believe the Al-Shabaab returnees are residing in Majengo the area of Mombasa.
The militants have previously committed similar attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and towns bordering Somalia, killing several people in what they said was a retaliation of the Kenyan military incursion in Somalia.
Last year the gunmen attempted to blow up a British tourist van in Likoni using a hand grenade but it failed to detonate.
Police had seized several remote control bombs brought into the city by suspected Al-Shabaab members last week.
On Thursday, two suspects linked to the incident were charged with seven counts, including a plot to murder.