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News / Thoughts

Tanzania: Students attacked

September 6, 2016

Please pray for Christian students in Tanzania after an attack on their university over the weekend.

A security guard was killed and two other people seriously injured at the Lutheran-run Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University in Lushoto, in north-eastern Tanzania.

According to local media reports, an unknown number of people attacked the campus on 2 September. After killing one security guard and gravely injuring another, the attackers set fire to the hostels where the students were staying.

Students were forced to escape the flames by squeezing through small windows and running into the nearby forest. Miraculously no students were killed, but many suffered minor injuries and suffered from smoke inhalation.

‘Fire would do the job just as well’

A witness told local media that the attackers were overheard discussing how to kill the students. They debated whether to break in and slaughter them or set the hostel on fire with petrol. She said other students overheard the men saying that the fire would do the job just as well as slaughtering them.

Another witness said she heard men banging on the hostel doors and shouting to the students to open them and threatening to kill them. The witness said the assailants then broke down her own door, poured petrol over her floor and ordered her not to leave the room.

When the attackers ignited the fire they left, allowing the students to scramble out through the windows and find shelter in the nearby forest.

Lushoto is close to the Kenyan border. It may be significant that the attack happened on the same weekend as the reopening of Garissa University in neighbouring Kenya, following the massacre of 147 mostly Christian students there in April 2015.

Source: Open Doors; World Watch Monitor

Pray now…

  • Thank the Lord that the attack did not succeed, and pray for the family of the security guard who lost his life
  • Pray for calm and for God’s grace to the traumatised students and wisdom for the school administration
  • Pray that the security officials will quickly and efficiently find the culprits.