Catholic Parish in Arusha Bombed

Local Church Calls for Cautious Response to Attack

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At least 2 people were killed and dozens wounded yesterday in Arusha, Tanzania, when a Catholic parish was bombed during its inauguration ceremony.

Fides Agency sources of the local Church from Tanzania have expressed the need for caution in responding to the attack: «Let us wait to have more information before speaking out about the attack in Arusha,» they said.

 «We need to have precise information before expressing ourselves about what happened, because the situation is very delicate.»

Present at the ceremony was Msgr. Francisco M. Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio to Tanzania, although he was unhurt by the blast. According to what was reported to Fides Agency, Msgr. Padilla is still in Arusha where he is meeting with the local clergy.

According to Fides Agency sources: «It is true that in recent months we have witnessed incidents of violence with possible religious motivations, but at the moment until we have certain elements in this respect we cannot express ourselves in this sense.»

«In general we can say that the local Muslim leadership is opposed to violence, and that those who commit the attacks are mostly extremist groups who come from outside of Tanzania.»

The sources conclude: «To try to reduce religious tensions a meeting between Christian and Muslim religious leaders is planned.»

Local police said they have arrested 6 people, 4 of whom are Saudi nationals, in connection with yesterday’s attack.

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Ann Schneible

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