Kenyan Faith Leaders Condemn Nairobi Attack as al-Shabab Takes Responsibility

Security forces help civilians flee the scene of a terrorist attack, as cars burn in the background, at a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, on Jan. 15, 2019. Extremists launched an attack on a luxury hotel in Kenya’s capital, sending people fleeing in panic as explosions and heavy gunfire reverberated through the neighborhood. Al-Shabab, the Somalia-based extremist group, has claimed responsibility. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Kenyan faith leaders have joined to condemn a terrorist attack in Nairobi that has left at least 14 people dead.

Police say six armed militants stormed into Dusit D2, an upscale business complex in the typically calm Westlands area, on Tuesday (Jan. 15). Flames and plumes of black smoke were seen billowing from the parking area after several vehicles were blown up.

Al-Shabab, the Somalia-based Islamist militant group, said it had carried out the attack, according to news reports.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Philip Anyolo, chairman of the Kenya Catholic Bishops Conference, said people in Kenya had started to believe the period of terror attacks was over.

“I think this is a wake-up call,” Anyolo told Religion News Service in a telephone interview. “The government needs to do more.”

The archbishop urged Kenyans to remain strong and forge ahead together as one united nation. In the recent past, observers have said the militant group wanted to put a wedge between Christians and Muslims in Kenya.

“I want to appeal to those bent on killing their fellow human beings to change their ways. Human life is sacred,” said Anyolo.

Muslim leaders reiterated that such attacks are unacceptable, immoral and inconsistent with human values and ethics. They called for unity among the citizens and the faiths.

“We strongly condemn the barbaric and criminal tactic of perpetuating violence against innocent people,” said Sheikh Hassan Ole Naado, deputy general secretary of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims.

Anglican Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit urged Kenyans to be vigilant and aware that terrorism is a worldwide problem.

“The terrorists have been killing people in the name of God, but I don’t think there is any God who cherishes the killing of innocent people,” said Ole Sapit, while urging people to offer support to those affected.

“Hospitals are asking for blood. Let’s go there and offer support to our fellow citizens,” he said. “Let’s be in prayer.”

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Source: Religion News Service