Washington - The United States has strongly condemned the Sunday "heinous" attacks on churches in Kenya that left 17 people dead and dozens wounded Garissa Town.
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.
In a statement, offering condolences to the victims' families, the White House spokesperson Jay Carney said that the United States strongly condemns the recent attacks on innocent civilians attending church services in Kenya
Carney went on to add that the perpetrators of these attacks have shown no respect for human life and dignity, and must be brought to justice for these heinous acts.
"At a time of transition, peace and stability are essential to Kenya's progress. We support those who recognize 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 Al-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".
President Mwai Kibaki, has vowed to ensure an orderly handover of power when he steps down next year.