NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 7 – Kenya on Tuesday commemorated the 14th anniversary of the 1998 US embassy bomb attack in Nairobi, with some of the victims saying they still waited for compensation from the government.
The blast killed 257 people, brought down the then US embassy in Nairobi and destroyed several nearby city buildings.
Speaking at the August 7th Memorial Park in Nairobi, friends and relatives recounted the suffering they underwent since that time.
“I was going home in a number 126 bus when we stopped at a traffic junction. After a few minutes, we had a blast and the bus was lifted off the ground. What I remember when we came down was waking up at the Kenyatta National Hospital,” Linda Njeri who lost the use of both her legs stated.
“It has not been easy but again I have a family which has been supporting me so it has not been all that bad,” said Jane Obuya whose husband was also killed in the explosion.
More than 5,000 people were injured in the incident.
“The government should focus on such issues. They can save and at least give us something we can use to wipe away our tears. We will be thankful for anything small that they can throw our way because we are suffering very much,” they appealed.
The blast which was carried out by the Al Qaeda terror network literally brought Kenya’s capital to a standstill as no one had expected such an occurrence.
At the same time a similar bomb went off in Dar-es-Salaam, the capital of Tanzania also just next to the US Embassy.
The blast in Nairobi occurred about 10:45 am and the force of the blast blew off the embassy’s bomb-proof doors which were later used as stretchers to carry away the injured.
A minor explosion had preceded the main one, causing people to rush to their office windows to check what had happened.
Many people spent months in hospitals, and when they were discharged, it was into a changed world.
The bomb site has since been turned into the 7 August 1998 Memorial Park, a place where a polished stone wall lists the names of all who perished, people of many faiths and denominations, of many tribes and nations.