On Sunday morning, multiple gunmen stormed the packed Joy Jesus Church in Likoni, Kenya.
Two individuals were proclaimed dead at the scene, another two died as a result of their injuries and 17 are still being treated in hospital. Police responded quickly to the attack, but the two gunmen were able to escape.
“Both carried big guns and began shooting all over the place. I fell to the ground and could hear screams,” said Lilian Omondi, who was leading a prayer at the time of the attack.
According to Likoni Police Chief Robert Mureithi, “This has all the indicators of a terrorist attack because the attackers did not steal anything and appeared focused on killing.”
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Kenya has faced numerous small-scale attacks on churches and other targets, many of them connected to the Somalia based terrorist group al-Shabaab, an Islamic group seeking to establish an extreme interpretation of Islamic law. The group has repeatedly attacked Kenya because of the Kenyan military’s role in anti-terrorism efforts in Somalia.
This latest attack has again sent shockwaves through the Kenyan Christian community, with concerns about the relative ease with which this attack seems to have been carried out.
Sources: International Christian Concern, Reuters