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Attack on Kenyan church kills child, wounds others

Kenyan police say a blast in a Nairobi church has killed a child and wounded six others. The attack comes after Kenyan forces helped evict Islamist Shebab fighters from their last bastion in neighboring Somalia.

Police said the attacker threw an explosive device, presumed to be a grenade, into a Sunday school service for children in the Anglican St. Polycarp church on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital.

A nine-year-old boy was killed and six others were seriously wounded. A dozen other worshippers were also hurt by the blast or while trying to help the victims.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said the explosion appeared to target the part of the church set aside for children.

Surge in attacks

Churches in Kenya have been targeted in several attacks over the past few weeks. Authorities believe the attacks are in retaliation for the Kenyan army's intervention in neighboring Somalia, where it is helping to fight al-Qaeda-linked Shebab Islamist militants.

Sunday's blast came just two days after the Shebab vacated their last stronghold in Somalia, the southern port city of Kismayo, in the face of an assault by Kenyan and Somali troops attached to the African Union mission AMISOM.

Kenya blames the Shebab militants for recent kidnappings of its security personnel and Western tourists.

tj/ccp (AFP, AP, Reuters)