One killed as another blast rocks Kenyan capital

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – A second grenade attack hit downtown Nairobi on Monday night killing one person in less than 24 hours after another grenade was hurled inside a pub on Mfangano Street, leaving scores wounded.

At least 15 other people were hurt in the second attack and admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital with various injuries sustained in the attack that occurred at the bustling OTC bus terminus.

“The information we have at this moment is that one person has been killed and several others have been taken to the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH),” Nairobi Provincial Commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu told journalists at the scene.

KNH Chief Executive Officer Richard Leresian later told Capital News that they had received 15 patients from the scene of Monday night’s blast.

“Of these 15, two are in a serious condition,” he told us on telephone from the hospital.

Police and witnesses told Capital News that the explosion occurred shortly after 8pm, as passengers were scrambling for public transport at the congested bus terminus located near the Salvation Army headquarters.

Guards and matatu drivers who witnessed the incident described the grenade attack as having caused “a loud blast which we easily thought was a tyre burst.”

“At first I thought it was a tyre burst but when I saw people running away and others screaming that is when I realised there was a serious problem. I saw many people screaming for help and they were taken to hospital by good Samaritans, but two were left at the scene,” James Mwaura, told Capital News at the scene.

Another witness Mary Wangare who runs a food kiosk nearby said: “I closed my shop when I heard the explosion and when everything went quite I peeped through the window and saw people being assisted. I hear one person has died.”

Earlier, in the early hours of Monday morning, the first explosion occurred on a dingy lane off Mfangano Street at a pub known as Mwaura’s that is mostly frequented by night clubbers from the public transport sector.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere told a press conference Monday afternoon that 12 people had been wounded in the attack.

Iteere said investigators were following crucial leads in search of a man who hurled a grenade inside the downtown pub in Nairobi early Monday morning.

Iteere told journalists that so far no arrests had been made in connection with the attack but investigators had been able to identify the type of explosion used.

“Our investigators have been able to identify the explosive as an F1 type grenade which is Russian made. These are things which are not used by our security forces here and it means it must have been brought in [the country],” Iteere said.

The police chief said no suspect had been arrested “but we are following crucial leads to get the attacker and the motive behind this.”

A hand grenade was hurled inside Mwaura’s pub located on Mfangano Lane in downtown Nairobi at about 2am, wounding 12 people.

The victims were rushed to the Kenyatta National Hospital where they were admitted with injuries inflicted by shrapnel. Some of them had been discharged from the hospital by midday Monday.

Asked what the security forces thought the motive of the attack was, the police chief said: “You all know that the Al Shabaab have their sympathisers here and probably may be these are the people we are dealing with.”

He was also categorical that the attack was a repercussion of the military offensive Kenya is undertaking in Somalia targeted at the Al Shabaab insurgents who have been blamed for high profile kidnappings of four European women seized from the Lamu island and Dadaab refugee camp, including that of Frenchwoman Marie Dedieu who died in the hands of kidnappers last week.

“We all know what is taking place. This is our second week in our engagement across the border and these are some of the things as a way of repercussions which we anticipated, it should not dampen our mode I think more than ever before this is the time to stand to be counted as Kenyans, all of us I think we are going to succeed,” the police chief said.

Al Shabaab insurgents have lately warned of reprisal attacks inside the capital Nairobi to protest the military operation targeting them in Somalia.

The US embassy in Nairobi warned on Saturday of an “imminent threat” of attacks possibly targeting foreigners, one week after Kenyan forces crossed into Somalia to hunt down the Al Shabaab fighters.

The embassy cited “credible information of an imminent threat of terrorist attacks directed at prominent Kenyan facilities and areas where foreigners are known to congregate, such as malls and night clubs.”

Last week, Kenya sent troops across its border with Somalia to hunt Al Shabaab insurgents it blames for the abduction of a British tourist, a disabled Frenchwoman – who has since died in captivity – and two Spanish aid workers.

The radical Islamist Al Shabaab, which denies kidnapping foreigners, has repeatedly warned of bloody retaliation.

On Monday, the police chief announced that security had been enhanced at vital installations in the capital, particularly at fuel storage facilities, malls and foot bridges which are likely targets for the insurgents.

Iteere said tight security measures had also been enhanced at the border areas, including at the Dadaab refugee camp where he revealed security forces had seized several AK 47 assault rifles.

“We are trying our best to secure our country as security forces but we also urge Kenyans to assist us the much they can,” he said.

BERNARD MOMANYI

BERNARD MOMANYI

Bernard is the News Editor at Capital FM. He commands over a decade of experience in news gathering having worked in both print and electronic media. He holds a BSc degree in Information Sciences from Moi University and is currently undertaking a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies at the University of Nairobi.

  • EUE

    where the fuck is the intelligence service prof saitoti?????????????????????????

  • Bola

    We have been too lenient with these Somalia Somalis. Flush them out. Warudi kwao!!!

    • Maddgrassix

      Kenyans4Kenyans! Donate trucks,buses & pickups and lets sweep eastleigh, south B. and the stalls in Luthuli clean. A holiday starting from a Friday will be enuff to escort these hardcores to their crumbling world, they have a chance to hold up and build what is left with our help. Funny when Harambee stars were playing with somalia we never heard them land, they just footed from eastleaigh and they BEATicad us in our homeground! Yeah, some are peaceful. we “chana” with them, train soccer with them in the same ground, their women……..yep, naturally beautiful and well behaved unlike our Kenyans but now seems all these will soon vaporise. Sudanese NO NO NO NO! Too much pride! Am waiting for flights cancellations to Somaliland for miraa to be cheaper coming weekend of endmonth. Yeah, if they don’t change we deny them miraa!

      • Yuyubenson3

        You are shocking with your thugish mentality of raiding Somali businesses. That will deter investments and kill the ailing shilling. Somalis will definately leave this country when theirs is peaceful. They started doing so in 2006 before Ethiopia invaded Mogadishu and killed off the stabilty and security brought by the Islamists courts who also fought piracy. There are many stakeholders who do not want stabilty in Somalia because it means capital flight, so bro do not reason like a makanga. I agree with you regarding miraa which the Islamists banned, saving that country millions of dollars daily to the chagrin of merus who asked state house to intervene.

  • Frank

    the is no need to stop now..let the kenyan protect their country

  • Dan

    First of all, where is Kibaki?….could somebody please wake him up! I think in Nairobi, Al shaabab is being dealt with by a very incompetent police force…did you see them doing vehicle searches on t.v? This is not 1920, people can hide beneath those boot covers! Kenyans begged Kibaki to deal firmly with intruding neighbors, but some defended him claiming diplomacy is the way to go. Really? Clearly not. That ineptitude is costing the country.

    • Anonymous

      So what do you suggest for the police to do exactly?

      • Dan

        Do their work…Do you recall the buru buru shootings? the police stayed there for 3 days, sic & the GSU finished the job in 3 minutes. Who opens a boot peeps and walks away…that is not a search. Demarq get serious, these are serious times!

        • Anonymous

          I give up…

          • Oxa

            Dan You have a point.. we have seen all that.. have you thot abt the unrest that wld be there if all this was handled wrongly.. have you seen a cold war tbn neibors kenyans against somalis/or walalos in kenya.. it is a sore topic that needs to be handled well without causing drama to ppl. the whole idea here is, arrest the situation and not make a post election kinda situation crop up. 

  • Erisangari

    We house them and give them a home,then they turn on us.Not acceptable,it is time the govt held a council of elders meeting with some guys from Eastleigh to ask them to ask their boys to cease and desist while on our soil lest.

    • Dan

      And I quote,’it is time the govt held a council of elders meeting with some guys from Eastleigh to ask them to ask their boys to cease and desist while on our soil lest.’
      You don’t ask terrorists to kindly leave you alone. Negotiating with terrorists is out of the question. Kenyans, we must abandon this idea of talking through everything, sometimes you must act. Talking too much and not acting on time is what has nurtured the attacks from this tumour called Al shaabab.

  • Chupao

    such retaliatory attacks by al shabaab faithfuls should not deter our sheer determination to secure our borders and our country.

    • Anonymous

      100% on the same page!

      • Anonymous

        Doesn’t surprise anyone, and, by the way, Chupao, I submit you’re totally wrong as to whom was responsible for the bomb attack.

        Any thinking person knows that governments conduct these sorts of attacks to manipulate their populace. Everyone also knows that terrorists do not attack civilians, only government targets.

        I’m not even sure where the Kenyan bomb blew up, but I’d almost guarantee it wasn’t a state, or military target, and, thus, the eye of suspicion must, as always, fall on the home government.

        Of course, it’s just as likely that it was a foreign government who wants Kenyans to fall into line.

        It’s very, very, very, very, unlikely that it was the LRA, or any other so-called rebel group. It’s almost always an intel. agency if no credit is taken for the attack. I wonder if anyone has taken credit? Somehow I doubt it.

        • Anonymous

          ?!

        • DM-Nairobi

          jimbojamesiv,
          You are one of the few Kenyans who have seen through the silly game some people in the Kenyan Government are playing.Its all about the 2012 elections and the Ocampo six, especially UK.

  • Ajonysana

    This is hospitality abuse of the highest order! I honestly hope Kenyan Intelligence won’t be just going after these brats!

  • ching

    how many kenyanz do the gvt wat to see dead befor dy realise declaring war on the al shabaab was a BAD MOVE???? 

    • Aussie

      Are they the words of your leaders before the fight for independance?

  • Moxaibra

    some forces are clearly cooking up trouble and the blaming it on al-shabab, kenyans should be wiser than that i think some dark forces are looking for ways to loot somalis wealth in the pretence of fighting al-shabab what a shame.

  • Bkiama2002

    Kenyan police leave a lot to be desired from them. at Mwaura’s they were guarding a place where a crime was committed using about 10 GSU officers. what were they guarding or did they expect another bomb at the very same joint. why not deploy them in Nairobi and its environs to act as a deterrent 24 hrs  a day. They would also be able to stop the bombers if they struck again since they would react differently as compared to civilian due to their training as we saw in the prudential Buruburu incident. they could even be augmented by the military if the need arises.

  • Kipla

    why do we have our soldiers go to beat the bush whereas the ALSHABAAB are just living with us,——–kenya ooh kenya——-lets pray for our country n our innocent injured brothers and sisters

  • Saidi Bakari

    It’s the by the grace of God that we live in our very insecure country! Police boss speaks confidently of having the matter under control and that Kenyans are protected by the government; since when did the government protect its people from external forces? Kenyans are left to spend more on security because there’s no guarantee the govt will play that role effectively. What has happened today is simply an act of low lives who tend to affiliate their actions with true course of Al Shabaab to attack us. Their targets is simply places they frequent and use oftenly; what if they up their game and move into CBD? tell me where our reactive and proactive govt will be? when the country is under red alert, there ought to be more measures taken within the CBD and not mere talk about forthcoming operations!! God guide over us.

  • Anonymous

    We have a very useless president. He must be hiding under the bed now in statehouse. Why can’t he come out and explain to kenya what his government is doing to stop all these grenades. First he hasn’t explained why our army is in Somali yet al shabab are in eastleigh.

  • Macabre

    The bombing of Somalia now goes to another level just because of some crazy mother fu*** , perhaps a disgruntled former police/military idiot throwing grenades into social gatherings.
    Nevertheless, war on Al shabos should continue, including the freaking Somalis currently hiding in our country and sympathising with the suckers.

  • mash

    We cannot live in fear in our own city and the messages on areas to avoid are absurd innocent Kenyans work there and who will compensate the business owners if people fear to visit these places and where do we run for cover isili, jamia, south c, luthuli ……how did this happen?

  • Mwangalendo

    In a war with guerrillas, the usual niceties and acceptable modus operandi such as not targeting the civilian population does not apply. This means that you are dealing with a cunning, devious group hell bent on using dirty tricks and tactics to psychologically cow the civilian population for their own selfish ends. The police, the intelligence services, the military are powerless to stop them because they are in our midst living, doing business and working with us. 
    The fact is that despite the brave face and talk of expected consequences by the Police Commissioner the police force will continue going through the motions of providing security through perfunctory car boot searches and increased police patrols but in reality they will only hope that their presence will act as a deterrent to these bombers (whomever they might be) or that they will get an intelligence breakthrough that will lead to arrests that will stem the bombings. Take additional precautions by avoiding crowds and crowded areas, be vigilant and aware of what is around you and when you hear a loud bang lie flat and cover your head as they do in the army !! Chances in any case are that if you hear the bang you are still alive.

  • Joe wee

    Terrorists and guerrillas often use secondary explosions to kill and maim additional people. In this case they could use the ‘peculiar’ Kenyan habit of people gathering around a disaster scene to see what happened after an initial explosion only to  blast them to kingdom come with a secondary explosion. 

    Now is the time to educate people on possible scenarios such as the one I mention here. 

  • Anonymous

    Kenyans, look to your government, as these sorts of bomb attacks are common methods to coalesce a population. See, 9/11.

    Kenyans, topple your criminal government and eject the Americans.

  • Anonymous

    See, it’s just like Gaddafi’s discoteque bombing, the attack was on a pub!

  • Ja.d

    kenya even does not have all the weapons and jets to protect its country its just using world war 1 fighter jets outdated. they need to buy new artillery and weapons to protect kenyans

  • Tourist

    I wonder if there is any way to negotiate with Al Shabaab. I must say I think there is no way to negotiate peacefully or in a democratic way. It is most difficult to deal with this kind of organization.

    I am a young tourist planning to come to Kenya after Christmas for the first time. I am really worried.

  • Donell Thomas Brown

    ITS A ACT OF WAR   wow ………..why Kenya , Africa