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Cardinal John Njue: Westgate attackers not religious group

KENYA
By By NGARI GICHUKI and ISAAC MESO | September 25th 2013
Archbishop John Ogachi of Apostolic Church at the Westgate Mall where he prayed for victims of the terror attack, yesterday.  [PHOTO: MOSES OMUSULA/STANDARD]

By NGARI GICHUKI and ISAAC MESO

Cardinal John Njue has said the terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall should not be used to fan religious disharmony.

Speaking at the MP Shah Hospital where he had visited some of the survivors of the attack, the cardinal said the terror was unleashed by criminals.

“Those carrying out the attacks are individuals and not a religious representation. Human life is sacred and no one has the right to take it despite their status or religion. So those carrying out the killings are disrespecting the sanctity of human life,” he said.

The cardinal also expressed his concern over the country’s intelligence gathering and hoped it would be improved to save Kenyans from another attack of such magnitude.

He urged Kenyans to stick together in solidarity and not to be cowed by the attack. “We are greater than the challenges coming our way and despite the situation, we should stick together and guard our identity as a strong nation,” he said.

Njue also called on Kenyans to be calm and refrain from speculating about the terror attack and promised that the Catholic society would do all it can for Kenya to be safe.

“All should remain calm and pray without spreading unconfirmed information. We will do all we can as a church society to make Kenya a safe and peaceful place,” said the cardinal.

The church leader took a tour around the hospital, visiting the Westgate attack victims who are admitted with various injuries including gunshot and shrapnel injuries. He also applauded the good work that was being done by the doctors and nurses to ensure minimum loss of life.

Discharged soon

The cardinal was accompanied by Father Charles Odira and the hospital’s chief executive officer, Afshan Lalji. She said the support they had received since they started admitting victims had been overwhelming and thanked Kenyans for their support.

“We are grateful to Kenyans for coming out in large numbers to donate blood for the victims,” she said.

She added that currently the hospital has admitted up to 20 patients, most of who were responding well to treatment and would be discharged soon.

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