Capital FM, Kenya
Monday, June 25, 2012
The death toll from a grenade attack on a Mombasa bar rose to three after two of those wounded in the blast succumbed to their injuries in hospital, a spokeswoman for the Kenya Red Cross said Monday.
“Two of the victims died in hospital. One had died earlier at the scene of the blast,” Kenya Red Cross spokeswoman Nelly Muluka said.
“Two more people have died in hospital, the death toll is now at three because there is one who was killed at the scene,” she said.
Muluka told Capital FM News that 25 others were still admitted to the hospital.
Police said one of the wounded is being treated as a suspect because he is giving contradictory statements.
The blast occurred at Jericho Beer Garden, a bar in Mshomoroni within Kisauni, some seven kilometers from Mombasa town.
The incident occurred a day after the US embassy in Kenya warned of an imminent attack in the port city.
“The attack occurred at about 10pm, the grenade was hurled inside a pub, but many of those wounded were just outside the bar at the entrance,” Coast Provincial Police Officer Aggrey Adoli said.
Witnesses said the person who died at the scene was among revelers who were at the dancing floor.
Much of the crowd had been watching the Euro 2012 quarter-final match in Kiev between England and Italy when the blast occurred.
The attack came just a day after the United States had warned its citizens of an imminent threat of such an attack in the coastal city and Kenyan police had arrested two Iranians on suspicion of planning bomb attacks.
Just hours before the blast occured, head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Francis Kimemia had denounced the US warning.
“It is a reckless advisory and it was totally uncalled for,” Kimemia said.
“It is aimed at sabotaging the country’s economy,” he added “we have advised them (US) to reverse their decision.”
A witness in the bar recalled hearing a loud blast, before part of the bar was ripped off.
“Many people have been injured, I saw one area of the bar blown off before I started running away,” said a witness George Lado who resides in the area. “I wish I had a nice phone with a camera as I could have taken good pictures as events unfolded.”
Kenya said it took the decision to write to the US embassy calling for reversal of the advisory after several hotels in the coastal town reported booking cancellations.
The US embassy said it issued the travel advisory to its citizens on Saturday following intelligence reports of an impending terror threat in Mombasa which it said was likely to be experienced until July 1.
“This is to alert all US citizens in Kenya, or planning to travel to Kenya in the near future, that the US Embassy in Nairobi has received information of an imminent threat of a terrorist attack in Mombasa, Kenya,” the US advisory said.
“All US government travel to Mombasa is suspended until July 1, 2012.”
France’s embassy in Nairobi also warned its citizens to be “extremely vigilant” in Mombasa and the surrounding area.
Since Kenya invaded southern Somalia in October 2011 to help oust Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab insurgents, it has seen a wave of grenade attacks and kidnappings of foreign tourists blamed on the Shabaab or their supporters.