6 May 2013

Tanzania: Six Arrested in 'Terrorist Attack' On Tanzanian Church

Photo: Lauren Everitt/AllAfrica
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete vows to hunt Arusha church bombers (file photo).

Six suspects were arrested in connection to the bombing at Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic church in Arusha on Sunday (May 5th), officials said.

Two people were killed and at least 30 others injured when a bomb exploded during mass at the church, in what President Jakaya Kikwete called an "act of terrorism".

Two of the suspects are from Tanzania and four are from Saudi Arabia, according to Arusha's commissioner Magesa Mulongo. "Investigations are ongoing," he said, adding that the four Saudis had arrived at Arusha airport on Saturday.

The newly built church in the Olasti district was celebrating its first mass ever when the blast occurred.

"This is an act of terrorism perpetrated by a cruel person or group who are enemies of the country," Kikwete said in a statement, calling on people to remain calm. "We are ready to deal with all criminals including terrorists and their agents who are based in the country or externally."

Vatican Ambassador to Tanzania Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla was attending mass at the church but was not harmed.

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