Kenyan football lovers keep off pubs during Euro final

July 2nd, 2012 - 9:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Al-Qaida Nairobi, July 2 (IANS) Football lovers in Kenya stayed away from pubs and other entertainment spots during the Euro 2012 final for fear of terror attacks Sunday night.

The move followed attacks linked to Somali militant group Al-Shabaab at two churches in northern Kenya in previous days, Xinhua reports.

Terrorists attacked the churches in Garissa, a town on Kenya-Somalia border, killing 17 people and injuring over 60 others.

The militants wearing balaclavas, according to police and Red Cross officials, hurled grenades inside a Catholic Church and African Inland Church (AIC), where worshippers were attending service.

At AIC church, the terrorists first killed two police officers then threw grenades at worshippers before opening fire. The attacks followed a series of others in the town, in Nairobi and Mombasa at churches and bars, which have claimed at least 20 people.

Following the attacks, Kenyans feared for their lives, especially while they are in public places like churches and pubs, since terrorists are targeting groups of people.

Gathering together or being in a crowd of people is turning out to be a security threat.

On Sunday evening as the world watched Euro 2012 finals between Spain and Italy, many people stayed away from entertainment spots, which had scheduled to screen the games live.

Ordinarily, Kenyans like congregating at their favorite pubs to watch games.

The practice is so entrenched in the Kenyan society that it has presented lucrative business opportunities to bar owners, who have invested in pay-TV and huge screens.

But Sunday, things were different. In the capital Nairobi, bar owners who had hoped to cash in during the game counted losses as fear of terror attacks spread across Kenya, making revellers to keep off entertainment places.

“I have been watching most of the games at a pub in my estate but I could not dare go watch the finals there,” Bernard Muenda, who stays in Komarock, an estate on the East of Nairobi, said Sunday evening.

Entertainment spots and churches in the East African nation have seemingly become soft targets for terrorists.

Al-Shabaab sympathizers have targeted the public places several times. Last week, the terrorists attacked revellers watching a Euro 2012 quarter-final match between England and Italy at a pub in the Coastal town of Mombasa.

The attackers hurled grenades inside the pub killing one person on the spot and two others succumbed to the injuries while in hospital.

The incident came barely a day after the US warned its citizens of an impending terror attack and asked them to vacate the coastal city.

Terror attacks in the East African nation have escalated since Kenya Defence Forces entered neighboring Somalia last October to fight Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab.

The Al-Qaida allies were blamed for kidnapping tourists thus sabotaging Kenya’s economy.

The grenade attacks have mostly targeted churches, pubs and bus termini in Nairobi, Mombasa and Garissa.

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