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The communities of two towns, one in France, the other in Germany, have drawn together in a profoundly Christian response to last week’s air disaster. Their gesture found particular resonance in the days leading up to Holy Week
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Kenya's Catholic bishops have donated food and blood bag kits to help survivors of the terrorist attack on the upmarket Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi that has left 62 people dead and more than 170 injured.
The bishops called for unity after the horrifying attack, which began on Saturday, and in a statement said they "condemn the unwarranted attacks on the helpless people and residents of Kenya". For two days, a battle has continued between Kenyan forces and the militants inside the mall.
Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab terrorists have claimed responsibility for the attack. Between 10-15 militants from Al-Shabaab, a Somalian group, attacked the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi and took several people hostage. The group said the attack was revenge for Kenya's military presence in Somalia.
The bishops continued: "As a nation we share in the trauma of our brothers and sisters who have lost their close relatives and their loved ones during the Westgate attack. We are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have been injured in this terrible tragedy and pray that the Almighty God grants them a quick recovery."
The bishops, who receive financial support from the British Catholic charity Cafod, have donated food and blood bag kits to the Kenya Red Cross Society, which has been leading the emergency response. The bishops praised medics and other Kenyans who had helped survivors. "The donation of blood and other charitable acts; the sacrifices of those working in health services; all who have volunteered in any way to save the lives of our brothers and sisters in danger; let us keep the spirit as we continue to pray for each other."