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1 dead, 44 injured in blast in Roman Catholic church in Tanzania

Published: Sunday, May 5 2013 11:36 a.m. MDT

The Holy See's envoy to Tanzania Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, center-left, leads a prayer during the inauguration of the St. Joseph Mfanyakazi Roman Catholic Church, moments before it was struck by a blast in Arusha, Tanzania Sunday, May 5, 2013. A Tanzanian police official says a woman died and over 40 people were seriously injured when a bomb exploded in the Roman Catholic Church in northern Tanzania, with eyewitnesses reporting that the bomb was thrown from a motorcycle. (The Associated Press) The Holy See's envoy to Tanzania Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, center-left, leads a prayer during the inauguration of the St. Joseph Mfanyakazi Roman Catholic Church, moments before it was struck by a blast in Arusha, Tanzania Sunday, May 5, 2013. A Tanzanian police official says a woman died and over 40 people were seriously injured when a bomb exploded in the Roman Catholic Church in northern Tanzania, with eyewitnesses reporting that the bomb was thrown from a motorcycle. (The Associated Press)

ZANZIBAR, Tanzania — A woman died and 44 people were seriously wounded when a bomb exploded in a Roman Catholic church in northern Tanzania, a Tanzanian police official said Sunday

The woman died in hospital as a result of the bombing in the Arusha church just before Mass, which was attended by the papal envoy to Tanzania, said Magesa Mulogo, the regional police commissioner of Arusha.

Mulogo said eyewitnesses report that the bomb was thrown from a motorcycle into the church. Mulogo said the driver of the motorcycle has been arrested.

The Vatican's ambassador to Tanzania, Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, was attending the official opening of the church when the explosion occurred. He escaped unhurt.

Mulogo said the motive of attack is not known but Tanzania has in the recent past experienced sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims.

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