AFRICA/TANZANIA – Attack in Arusha: the testimony of the Apostolic Nuncio to Fides

Dar es Salaam - "The faithful are in a state of shock and I am in town specifically to be close to the Catholic community," says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Francisco M. Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio in Tanzania, who is preparing to return to Dar es Salaam from Arusha, where on Sunday, May 5 three people were killed and sixty were injured in an attack in front of San Giuseppe church. "Of the five injured at least 5 are in serious condition to the point that it was necessary to admit them in Dar es Salaam" says Mgr. Padilla. "Yesterday, the Archbishop of Arusha, Mgr. Josaphat Louis Lebulu and I, went to the city hospital to visit the injured bringing them spiritual comfort." The Nuncio recalled that he had been in Arusha for 5 days to visit the local Catholic community, and to preside over the opening ceremony of the parish where the attack occurred. Mgr. Padilla reconstructs the dramatic moments of the explosion. "The Archbishop of Arusha and I, surrounded by a crowd of faithful, were in the churchyard. We had just blessed the water that was to be sprinkled on the faithful and the place of worship, when the bomb exploded a few meters from us. I did not see who threw the bomb, because there were many faithful."With regards to the investigation of who is behind this criminal act, Mgr. Padilla said that the Prime Minister of Tanzania has secured the Archbishop of Arusha that all the efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice will be made. On the motivations and responsibility for the attack, the Nuncio urges caution. "The police are still investigating. We await the results of the investigation, " he concludes.