DAR ES SALAAM: Tanzania has arrested four men from Saudi Arabia and four Tanzanians in connection with the bombing of church yesterday that killed two people, an attack that has heightened sectarian tensions in the east African nation. Investigators said they were still determining the type of device used in the attack on the Catholic church in Arusha, a town in the north of the nation of about 45 million people that is roughly evenly split between Muslims and Christians.
A statement from President Jakaya Kikwete’s office yesterday said two people had now died from the blast after the death toll had previously been put at one. Sixty people were injured. The president’s office said Kikwete had cut short his state visit to Kuwait following the bomb attack on the church. The Vatican’s ambassador to Tanzania, Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, was attending the official opening of the church when the explosion occurred. He escaped unharmed.
“So far eight people have been arrested, including four nationals from Saudi Arabia and four Tanzanians,” Arusha Regional Commissioner Magesa Mulongo told Reuters by telephone. He said the Saudis, aged between 30 and 45, had arrived at an airport near Arusha on Saturday and were detained late on Sunday trying to cross the border to neighbouring Kenya. Mulongo said they were being questioned regarding the incident. Two of the Tanzanians arrested were Christian, he added, but gave no further details.
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