By BosNewsLife Africa Service
NAIROBI, KENYA (BosNewslife)– Two evangelical pastors were among some 16 Christians recovering from serious injuries Thursday, June 13, after suspected Islamic militants on a motorbike threw an explosive device into their church compound in southeastern Kenya, police and church officials said.
Sunday’s (June 9) attack reportedly happened when about 50 worshipers gathered for the Sunday service of Earthquake Miracles Ministries Church in Mrima village, near the coastal town of Likoni, in Mombasa District.
Worldwide Gospel Church said in a statement that both legs of Assistant Pastor Collins Maseno were broken in the blast while Senior Pastor Dominic Osano sustained serious injuries to his hand and his neck.
The blast came while in Nairobi, the capital, a grenade was thrown in the Somali district of Eastleigh, injuring several people police said.
Officials acknowledged that the attackers had not been detained, but Mombasa police Chief Aggrey Adoli told reporters that his forces tried to find them.
There was no known claim of responsibility for either attack. Police investigators have blamed similar violence on supporters or members of neighboring Somalia’s al-Shabab insurgents who have been linked to terror group Al-Qaida.
Most attacks have been along Kenya’s tense northeastern border with Somalia, although both Nairobi and Mombasa were targeted too.
Kenyan troops invaded southern Somalia in 2011 to attack bases and joined an African Union force to battle the militants, prompting al-Shabab to threaten revenge attacks against churches and other targets.
In November BosNewsLife reported that officials believe al-Shabab also uses converts from religious Christianity to Islam to carry out deadly attacks against churches in neighboring Kenya as part of what they call a “holy war”, or Jihad.
Among the most recent anti-Christian violence was a November 4, 2012 attack on a church in a police compound in the eastern town of Garissa, killing a police officer who also served as the pastor, and injured some dozen others.
Earlier on September 30, 2012, suspected al-Shabab militants threw a grenade into an Anglican church in Nairobi that killed 9-year-old Ian John Maina, Christians said. Several other children attending a Sunday school class reportedly seriously injured in blast that rocked the Anglican Church of Kenya St. Polycarp in the Pagani area, outside Eastleigh.