1 dead in Kenya religious station attack

Nairobi, Kenya - Gunmen attacked a Pentecostal church radio station during a program that compared teachings of the Bible and the Quran, killing one person and setting the building on fire.

Church leaders and government officials condemned the late Friday attack on Hope FM and warned Christians and Muslims to avoid religious conflict in this East African nation.

"The government condemns this attack. It is a criminal act," government spokesman Alfred Mutua said after visiting the burned offices. "We are asking religious leaders not to say words or preach words that would breed intolerance."

A security guard was stabbed and later shot dead during the attack and another was wounded, according to a passer-by who was shot when he went to look into why the emergency alarm had gone off.

Some of the assailants poured a flammable liquid in some of the offices at the radio station and then set it alight, a security guard told the independent Kenya Television Network.

The eight masked assailants shouted angrily that producers had failed to take their telephone calls. They ordered a technician to take the station off air, according to church workers.

Gideon Kibunjah, a police spokesman, said there had been no arrests and the identities of the gunmen were unclear.

Church leaders pressed the government to quickly investigate the attack and ensure the culprits are prosecuted.

"The station is for spreading the good news, and faith comes by hearing the word of God," Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi said after visiting the station in a show of solidarity with the Pentecostal church. "It is not right to go at the source of the news and commit violent acts."