Capital FM Kenya
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Kenya faced a new terror threat on Sunday after a grenade attack blamed
on Somali Islamist militia killed six people and injured 63 in a bus
terminal in the capital Nairobi.
Four grenades were thrown Saturday night only yards apart from a car
driving past the busy terminal, Internal Security Minister George
Saitoti said Sunday.
Dozens of buses were parked in the terminal packed with Kenyans leaving for the weekend to visit relatives outside the capital.
While responsibility for the attack had not been claimed by late
Sunday morning, Kenyan authorities blamed it on the hardline Islamist
Shabaab militia which Kenyan troops are battling in neighbouring
“We suspect this is the work of Al-Shabaab, but all this will come out in the investigations,” Saitoti told reporters.
Al-Shabaab has threatened Kenya since it sent its troops into Somalia
in mid-October to dislodge the Islamic insurgents controlling swathes
of the south, which it accused of a series of kidnappings and attacks on
Deploring Saturday’s attack, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said
“This is an act of people who think that they can puncture the resolve
to fight terror. It is a difficult moment but it should strengthen our
resolve and I am sure we will win.”
Two people died on the spot, one on the way to hospital, while three
other victims succumbed to their injuries during the night, hospital
“The death toll is now six, and we have 63 people undergoing
treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital, 11 of them were seriously
injured,” Saitoti said.
Saturday’s attack was the deadliest in Nairobi since one in June
2010, not attributed to Islamists, during a public meeting against the
adoption of a new constitution, in which the death toll was also six.
Neither attack came close to the devastating Al-Qaeda car bombing of
the US embassy in August 1998 that killed 213 people and injured 5,000.
But this latest attack has raised fears of a terror campaign in
Nairobi. Less than two weeks after the army sent thousands of troops and
tanks into Somalia, two grenade attacks in the space of less than 24
hours at the end of October left one person dead and 30 injured. One
grenade was detonated in a bar and the other at a bus stop.
A 28-year-old Kenyan supporter of the Shabaab was arrested and jailed for life after admitting carrying out the attacks.
But no further attacks resulted despite the Somali Shabaab appealing
to their sympathisers to wage a “holy war” on Kenyan soil. The only
incidents reported were in northeast Kenya, a poorly patrolled
semi-desert region near the border with Somalia.
Internal Security Minister Saitoti gave assurances Sunday that security had been stepped up in response to this latest attack.
“We have intensified security in government installations and all
public places, churches, hotels, shopping malls and bus terminuses, so
that we may deter such criminals from accomplishing their ill
intentions,” he said.
Although security had been radically stepped up in recent months near
certain luxury hotels, the police presence had been noticeably lower in
busy public places like bus stations.