Child killed, dozens injured in northern Tanzania church attack: witnesses

2013-05-05 12:15:24 GMT2013-05-05 20:15:24(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

ARUSHA, Tanzania, May 5 (Xinhua) -- A bomb blast hit a Catholic church on Sunday in Arusha in northern Tanzania, killing one child and injuring more than 30 people, witnesses reported.

The dead was among the church followers who were gathering for Sunday prayers.

The church located in Arusha's Olasiti suburb was bombed just before a mass in the presence of Bishop Josaphat Louis Lebulu of Arusha Diocese, who was accompanied by a representative of Pope of Vatican.

Police in Arusha said one man was arrested in connection with the incident, which caused a lot of panic in the tourist capital of the East African country.

Casualties are yet to be updated. "We are still working on the matter. We'll give more detail after investigating the matter," said Arusha Regional Police Commander Liberatus Sabas.

He said the man was arrested following a tip-off from people at the scene when the explosion occurred.

"We are still interrogating the suspect," he said.

Regional Commissioner Magesa Mulongo described the blast as horrific and unique in Tanzanian history, calling on the public to remain calm.

"So, people should continue with their daily activities, as police and other security organs have normalized the situation," Mulongo said.

A witness said, "I saw more than 30 people, taken by a police vehicle, which took them to the Mount Meru Regional Hospital."

Another witness said the bomb hit the church at around 10:00 a. m. local time when church followers were gathering for the historic Sunday prayer at the new church.

"We were trying to organize ourselves for the mass, when we heard loud sound, the situation that made more people to start rushing out of the church," a witness told Xinhua.

This is the first bomb explosion at the church in the northern safari capital of Arusha.

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