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Kenya Redcross offcials carry a victim of OTC blast/MIKE KARIUKI


Most grenade attack victims out of hospital

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 25 – Five people are still admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) following Monday night’s grenade attack at the OTC bus terminus in downtown Nairobi.

Kenyatta National Hospital CEO Richard Leresian on Tuesday said that 11 casualties of the blast had already been treated and discharged.

He pointed out that the rest are still admitted but are out of danger.

“These patients had facial and leg injuries. Out of the 16, we have treated 11 and they have been discharged this morning (Tuesday) after spending the night in hospital and now there remain four who are still admitted but are out of danger,” he said.

He stated that the hospital had put in place systems that enable it to deal with such cases efficiently.

“So far at Kenyatta National Hospital, we have deployed our disaster preparedness teams. We have elaborate systems in place to enable us manage such disasters and so far, we have managed to treat all these patients,” he said.

He however cautioned Kenyans to be extra vigilant especially after the incidents.

“We should avoid routines. We are actually in a situation that we are not comfortable with since we are sailing through unchartered waters and these are very unfamiliar grounds to us as Kenyans,” he said.

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“The best we could do for all of us is to watch for our security, to avoid certain routines by avoiding crowded areas and watch out for any suspicious individuals.”

The 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 off 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.

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.

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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.

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.

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