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Death toll in Nairobi grenade attack hits six

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – A grenade attack on a Nairobi bus station killed at least six people and wounded 63, according to a new toll issued Sunday by Interior Minister George Saitoti.

“The death toll is now six, and we have 63 people undergoing treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital, 11 of them were seriously injured,” he told reporters. The earlier toll was five dead and around 60 injured.

Saturday’s attack has been blamed on the Islamist Al Shabaab militia which Kenyan troops are battling in neighbouring Somalia.

“Unknown people in a vehicle driving along Landhies Road towards Jogoo Road threw four grenades consecutively about seven meters apart. As a result, one person died on the spot while five succumbed to injuries at Kenyatta National Hospital,” Saitoti said.

He added an investigation is ongoing at the site of the attack and that surveillance has been stepped up in all public places including churches, shopping malls and bus termini.

“I appeal to all law abiding citizens to remain vigilant in identifying and reporting any suspicious characters to the police,” he warned.

Saitoti said security agencies are pursuing leads to have the suspects, who hurled the four grenades, face justice.

“The initial suspicion is that of the Al Shabaab, but we want to make sure that once we finalize the investigation, we come out very clearly and give the information. Undoubtedly, these attacks are very similar to the previous explosions we have seen,” he noted.

It is the deadliest attack in Nairobi since the devastating August 1998 bombing by Al-Qaeda of the US embassy that killed 213 people and injured 5,000.

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The Al Shabaab was responsible for a string of tourist abductions and grenade attacks that occurred late last year that led to the Kenyan troops’ pursuit of the militia group into Somalia.

Since launching Operation Linda Nchi last October, Kenya has garnered support from several countries in the region and abroad in its efforts to deal with the Al-Qaeda-supported group that has now mushroomed into a global problem.

“The operation has received a boost from the United Nations and the Kenya Defence forces are expected to join AMISOM in a week’s time,” Saitoti said.

The internal security Minister denounced the recruitment of Kenyans into the Somalia-based militia group and further pled with any individuals with vital information on such criminals to come forward.


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