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Twin grenade attacks wound 4 in Wajir
Friday, July 20, 2012
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Four people were injured when two grenades exploded at a barbershop and a hotel in the town of Wajir, the latest in string of attacks in Kenya, police said.
Wajir police commanding officer James Mutungi told Sabahi two grenades were hurled at Ralph's Super Cutz barbershop and Roho Safi Hotel, which are about 50 metres apart.
"The attacks were co-ordinated as they happened at the same time at about 8:30 pm," he said. "Our investigations show it is the work of al-Shabaab. This is their trademark attack."
Mutungi said arrests have been made in connection with the incident, but police are following other leads.
Heightened security and community vigilance has reduced the al-Qaeda-allied group's attacks, he said.
"It is the first incident since May 30th, and we hope to work with the community to maintain the peace," Mutungi said.
One victim, Justus Lemeri, 38, told Sabahi that he was outside the barber shop waiting for a friend when the explosion happened.
"There was confusion as there were people rushing towards the blast and others fleeing," he said.
He said there were about 10 people seated outside the shop at the time of the explosion.
"The first grenade exploded near us and we did not know what to do. Then the second landed on the sandy ground and we fled before it exploded," he said. Lemeri said he sustained injuries on three fingers.
Another eyewitness, Boniface Mbuvi, told Sabahi that he was a few metres away with a group of friends when they heard the explosion. "I was around the hotel for the better part of the day and there was nothing suspicious," he said.
He said there were people rushing around after the explosions and it was difficult to point out the individuals who carried out the attack.
After a while, people rushed to the scene to take those injured to the hospital. He said police arrived thereafter and sealed off the scene and interviewed witnesses.
Wajir District Hospital medical officer Mohamed Hussein Abdikadir told Sabahi that two victims were admitted to the hospital, while two were treated and discharged the same night.
He said the admitted victims had multiple injuries but are in stable condition.
String of grenade attacks
The blasts occurred about 100 metres from Star Restaurant, where a grenade attack on May 30th killed one person and injured four others.
It is also less than 500 metres from Dubai Hotel and Lodging, which was attacked by a grenade on May 26th, injuring three people.
Kenya has suffered a spate of grenade attacks, shootings and bomb blasts since sending its troops into Somalia in October to fight al-Shabaab.
On July 1st, gunmen killed at least 16 people and wounded dozens in twin attacks targeting churches in Garissa.
Despite the spate of terrorist attacks in Wajir and other parts of North Eastern Province, Kenyans say they stand united against al-Shabaab's threats.
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