Missionary murdered in Kenya

An Irish Roman Catholic priest was found murdered on Thursday at his parish in Ngong, southwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, police and church sources said.

"Last night at around midnight, a group of 10 to 20 gangsters armed with crude weapons invaded the residence of Father John Francis Hannon at Upper Matasia in Ngong and murdered him," a police statement sent to AFP said.

The statement said "the attackers, who were demanding money, hit Hannon on the head with a blunt object, killing him instantly."

Hannon, 65, was in charge of St Baranabas Catholic Church in Ngong at the time of his death.

The attackers had first tied up the watchman on duty at the priest's residence and proceeded to cut window grills, prompting him to try to flee to safety.

The priest's assailants caught up with him inside the compound, where his mutilated body was found in the early hours of Thursday, the statement added.

"There is great insecurity in the area and people live in fear.

"Unless the government takes drastic measures to improve the security of the people, we are very anxious about the safety of members of the community," Ngong diocese Bishop Cornelius Schilder said in another statement sent to AFP.

Police said they still don't know the motive for the murder and are continuing their investigation.

In 2000, an American Catholic priest of Ngong diocese, Father John Anthony Kaiser, a fierce critic of the Kenyan government then, was found shot dead near Naivasha, 80km northwest of Nairobi.