Three dead in Kenya blast

December 21, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Dec 20 – The death toll following an explosion on a Kampala-bound bus rose to three on Monday night after two more people succumbed to injuries in hospital, police said.

"There are two people who have lost their lives while undergoing treatment. The total of those killed so far is three," a senior police officer told Capital News.

Earlier, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere had told reporters that one person had died in the explosion while 26 others were hospitalised.

He said police were investigating if the Nairobi attack had any link with the terror alert issued in Kampala earlier on Monday.

"At the moment, we cannot realy say that there is a link, and we cannot deny if there is any [link]. But the best thing is to let the investigators do their work," Mr Iteere told journalists at the scene.

The blast occurred near a Kampala Coach bus that was about to depart for Uganda. The Kenya Red Cross however, said there were more than 30 people hospitalised.

The bus, bound for the Ugandan capital Kampala, was stationed on the busy River Road in downtown Nairobi.

It was not immediately clear whether the explosion was accidental.

Moments after the explosion, police announced that they had arrested a man on Kijabe Street who was found with a luggage which police were trying to link with the River Road attack.

"This man was trying to abandon the luggage on the road when he was spotted by guards and we immediately arrested him. He is now in custody and we have found some clothes and two mobile phones in the bag," a police officer said.

Uganda\’s police chief Monday said he had "strong indications" that Islamist militant groups were planning terrorist attacks there over the Christmas period.

Inspector General Kale Kayihura had told AFP that the threats emanated from the Shebab, a Somali insurgent group which has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, and the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan Islamist group.

Uganda in July suffered East Africa\’s worst attacks in 12 years when suicide bombers struck two Kampala bars, killing 76 people.

The Shebab claimed the coordinated bomb attacks and warned that any country supporting the central Somali government it is battling in Mogadishu and the rest of Somalia would be a target.

Three Kenyan police officers were killed in two separate gun and grenade attacks in Nairobi earlier this month.

The motive behind the attacks remains unclear and Kenya said it had asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to help it probe the incidents.

Following the attacks, Kenyan police arrested hundreds of people in the Eastleigh neighbourhood, an area overwhelmingly populated by Somalis, and argued that tighter security would be enforced during the holiday season.


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