US slams 'heinous' Kenya church attacks

2012-07-02 07:47

Washington - The United States strongly condemned on Sunday "heinous" attacks on churches in Kenya that left 17 people dead and dozens wounded in a town near the Somali border.

Assailants wearing balaclavas burst into two churches in Garissa, targeting worshippers with firearms and grenades. Witnesses said bodies lay scattered on the floor inside the two churches.

"The United States strongly condemns the recent attacks on innocent civilians attending church services in Kenya," White House spokesperson Jay Carney said in a statement, offering condolences to the victims' families.

"The perpetrators of these attacks have shown no respect for human life and dignity, and must be brought to justice for these heinous acts," he said.

"At a time of transition, peace and stability are essential to Kenya's progress. We support those who recognise Kenya's ethnic and religious diversity as one of the country's greatest strengths," Carney noted.

"We stand with the Kenyan people at this difficult time."

Kenya has suffered a spate of gun, grenade and bomb attacks since sending troops into southern Somalia last October to target Shabaab rebels fighting to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in the Horn of Africa state.

Canada also condemned the "vicious and cowardly" church attacks, with Foreign Minister John Baird saying he was "deeply saddened" to hear about the deaths and pledging his country's "solidarity with the Kenyan people".

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, whose disputed re-election five years ago sparked bloody ethnic violence, has vowed to ensure an orderly handover of power when he steps down next year.

  • stand.firm.50 - 2012-07-02 08:12

    And the silence from Muslims is deafening

  • - 2012-07-02 08:13

    Very, very sad in a church or in a market, attacks on unarmed people isn't acceptable.

  • jimmy.giam - 2012-07-02 08:18


  • issah.zuze - 2012-07-02 08:25


      Clive - 2012-07-02 13:48

      I take it the thumbs-downer approves of attacks on unarmed civilians?

  • Nicholas - 2012-07-02 08:38

    All in the name of their god.

  • Paco - 2012-07-02 08:53

    is anyone condemning US Drones killing innocent civilians everyday ??? i didn't think so

      henry.bosman.5 - 2012-07-02 10:00

      Innocent my foot.You pick up a gun to fight the civilised world,don't cry when death comes from above. But walking into a church and killing people worshipping,thats azapo/anc/muslim tactics...Terror

      Clive - 2012-07-02 13:46

      Paco: Many have condemned the civilian deaths from drones and, as unacceptable as such occurrences are, it is a well known tactic of certain terrorist groups to cynically base themselves among civilians. They thus benefit from the outcry when innocents die from "collateral damage" when their bases are targeted. But to deliberately attack places of worship - and other public places where innocent, unarmed civilians gather - is barbaric in the extreme. And I include attacks by Christians on Muslims in Nigeria. We await condemantion of the events in Kenya from mainstream - as opposed to extremist - Muslims.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-02 15:39


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