One person was killed and fifteen others wounded after a grenade was hurled inside a church in Nairobi’s Ngara area on Sunday morning.
Police said the incident occurred at about 9 am shortly after the Sunday service kicked off at the God’s House of Miracles International Church.
Witnesses told reporters that they heard a loud blast before they saw smoke billowing out of the church that is located near Ngara Girls High School.
“I was in my kiosk then I heard a loud blast and smoke coming out of the church. I rushed there immediately and found people screaming for help,” Samuel Kimani who runs a kiosk near the church said.
He said his children attend a church service there but they had not arrived at the time of the attack.
“What came in my mind immediately is my children because they go to church there, but when I arrived there I didn’t find them but there were other people who had been injured and we started helping them out,” he said.
Those wounded are people who had gone for the first service that starts at 7 am and runs up to 9 am.
Worshippers interviewed said they saw a man walk in and sat in their midst.
“He clearly appeared a stranger to me and most of us because the people who attend the morning service are known to each other, but we had no reason to suspect him,” one worshipper who identified himself as Kim said.
Moments later, he said, the man walked out and came back that is when he threw the grenade and ran out.
Some of the people who attempted to pursue him said he whipped out a pistol and pointed it at them.
“He ran very first and kept brandishing a pistol to scare away people, no one could go closer to him,” Elijah Mwangi, who was part of the people who chased the attacker said.
Those injured were admitted to the Guru Nanak and Kenyatta National Hospitals, some with critical injuries.
Nairobi Deputy Police chief Moses Nyakwama said they were working closely with crucial witnesses and church members to get the proper description of the attacker.
“We are confident he will be found, the public is assisting us,” Nyakwama told journalists at the scene.