Feature: Four years on, Kenyan church attack victims calling for gov't aid
04 July 2016, 19:29
Garissa (Xinhua) -- A somber mood engulfed the
African Inland Church in Kenya's Garissa town as worshipers
gathered on Sunday to mark the fourth anniversary after the 2012
terror attack that claimed 17 people.
While marking the anniversary, hundreds of worshippers from
different denominations -- Muslims and Christians -- urged the
government to step up efforts to enhance security in the region
which borders Somalia.
Together the worshipers danced, prayed and consoled each other
following the heinous attack, which also left several people with
life threatening and permanent injuries.
Gunmen believed to be members of Al-Shabaab stormed the African
Inland Church on July 1, 2012, killing 15 worshipers and two
Speaking to journalists after attending the service, Garissa
County Commissioner James Kianda said that the church attack had
only acted to unify Muslims and Christians.
Kianda said that the security that has been witnessed in the
last one year was as a result of good cooperation between different
"These terrorists do not discriminate when attacking; they do so
in churches, buses, social gatherings, restaurants, police and
military convoys. We are working round the clock to make sure that
we don't witness such attacks in our county again," he said.
While lauding the government for improving security and giving
them moral support, Pastor Eliud Mule, a victim in the attack,
urged the state to do more for the victims who are still undergoing
treatment in hospitals.
He said majority of them were still struggling with offsetting
their medical bills, saying that frequent attendance to the
hospitals had drained them economically.
Mule said the church, which was recovering from the attack, was
made worse by the Garissa University attack that claimed 148 lives
in April 2015, adding that the worshipers have reduced.
Daniel Mugo, who was one of those who escaped the attack but
with serious injuries, came from Kitui in eastern Kenya to join his
colleagues in commemorating the day.
He still has grenade pellets that are just near the heart.
"I saw it fit to join my fellow worshipers in remembering out
lost brother and sisters. It was a dark day that I will personally
never forget for as long as I am alive," Mugo said.
"The incident completely changed my life upside down. I cannot
do much nowadays because I am now weak thanks to some foreign
object that is still in my body," he told journalists in
"I have become a frequent visitor at the Kijabe Hospital. This
has drained me economically and I can no longer bare it anymore. I
am appealing to the government to come to my assistance," said
He said that the doctors said that the shrapnel cannot be
removed because he might loose his life if they go ahead and remove
For Gladys Benjamin, another victim who was also present, the
grenade pellets completely destroyed her left leg, something that
forced the doctors to amputate the leg.
"All we are asking the government for is assistance. We
sometimes think like the government completely forgot about us. We
would appreciate assistance of any kind. But for now it has not
been forthcoming," she said.