NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Unidentified gunmen shot and killed one person, wounded two others and torched part of a Pentecostal church radio station during the broadcasting of a program that compared teachings of the Bible and the Quran, officials said Saturday.
Church leaders and government officials condemned the late Friday attack on Hope FM and warned Christians and Muslims not to let the raid spark a religious conflict in this East African nation.
"The government condemns this attack. It is a criminal act," government spokesman Alfred Mutua said after visiting some of the station's offices that were burnt. "We are asking religious leaders not to say words or preach words that would breed intolerance."
A security guard was stabbed multiple times and was later shot dead during the attack and another was wounded, according to a passer-by who was shot when he went to look into why the emergency alarm had gone off.
Some of the assailants poured a flammable liquid in some of the offices at the radio station and then set it alight, a security guard told the independent Kenya Television Network.
The eight masked assailants shouted angrily that producers had failed to take their telephone calls. They ordered a technician to take the station off air, according to church workers.
Church leaders pressed the government to quickly investigate the attack and ensure the culprits are prosecuted.
"Kenyans must know the culprits and their motive," Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi said after visiting the station in a show of solidarity with the Pentecostal church.
"The station is for spreading the good news, and faith comes by hearing the word of God," Nzimbi said. "It is not right to go at the source of the news and commit violent acts."
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