Homemade bombs exploded next to the Anglican Cathedral in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Reuters reports:
“There were two explosions which occurred at around 1 p.m. this afternoon. The explosions were caused by makeshift bombs,” the police spokesman said, without saying who was behind the attacks.
One bomb went off next to an Anglican cathedral near Zanzibar’s capital Stone Town, while another at about the same time exploded at a restaurant in the city popular with tourists, he added.
Many Muslims living along Tanzania’s coast feel marginalized by the secular government, providing fertile recruitment grounds for Islamist groups such as al Shabaab, which operates in Somalia further north on Africa’s east coast.
The incidents have hit Tanzania’s image as a tourist-friendly destination, hurting a vital industry.
From the Episcopal News Service:
During the mid-afternoon of Monday, Feb. 24, two small explosive devices detonated sequentially near the main entrance to Christ Church Cathedral and the Former Slave Market in Mkunazini. The Cathedral is a First Class World Heritage Monument and the Former Slave Market an International Site of Conscience. The entire site is presently undergoing significant renovation through a generous grant from the European Union.
Working in cooperation with local authorities, security measures at the site are being enhanced to ensure the safety of all visitors and staff. The government has increased local security patrols and is thoroughly investigating the incident. The Anglican diocese said it is “thankful for this immediate response and ongoing assistance.”
“The Anglican diocese is undeterred in its mission of promoting peaceful conditions on Zanzibar and the good of all Zanzibaris. This includes an ongoing commitment to securing quality health care, education and job opportunities for all people.
Anglican Communion News Service reports here. Photo from Wikimedia.
Zanzibar is a diocese of the Anglican Province of Tanzania.