An explosive device discovered inside the Kutus Catholic Church in Kirincyaya County during Sunday service has been detonated by bomb experts from Nyeri and Embu counties.
Fear gripped the worshippers who stormed out of the church as the news of the bomb was announced.
One worshipper, Mr Richard Kanyuiro, described how he and his two friends saw the explosive device as they were giving their offerings but thought it was a toy.
After one his friends who was an Administration Police officer inspected it and identified it as a bomb and altered the congregation who fled the church in fear.
“We were so shocked that we had to inform the priest and the congregation,” said Mr Kanyuiro.
County Police Commander Rono Bunei with his team of security officers rushed to the church and cordoned off the area while they waited for bomb experts to arrive from Nairobi.
“Usually the church is opened at 7am so that those want to pray before the service starts can do so. Therefore it is likely the terrorists sneaked into the church posing as worshippers and planted the bomb.”
– Area chairman of Catholic Men Association, Mr Paul Njeru
Local priest Father Njenga said it was by the grace of God that the bomb did not explode as the service was going on and Kirinyaga County Governor Joseph Ndathi has condemned those targeting holy places during Christmas festivities.
“No one irrespective of his religion should target churches and I would like condemn those involved in the strongest terms possible.”
– Kirinyaga County Governor Joseph Ndathi
Mr Ndathi said it would have been disastrous if the bomb had exploded and has advised the priests to ensure that those entering the church are thoroughly screened.