Tight security as Kenya commemorates 20 years since the US Embassy bombing

August 7, 2018 10:18 am
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The US was represented at the memorial by Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, while Martin Kimani of the National Counter Terrorism Centre attended for the Kenyan government. Photo/JEREMIAH WAKAYA.

, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 7 – Security was beefed up across the country Tuesday as Kenya marked 20 years since the bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi where more than 200 people were killed in the Al Qaeda-linked attack.

The memorial is being held at Co-operative House, which hosted the US Embassy at the time when terrorists struck in a simultaneous attack that also targeted the American embassy in Dar es Salam in neighbouring Tanzania.

213 people were killed in the Nairobi attack while 11 died in Dar es Salaam.

In Nairobi, 12 Americans died, among them two employees of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who were attached to the embassy.

Top dignitaries from the government and US embassy, including ambassador Robert Godec as well as survivors were attending the memorial.

But even as the memorial was held, most of the survivors claimed they are yet to be compensated as promised, 20 years since the worst terror attack in the country’s history.

More than 5000 were injured in the attack.

Authorities however, insist all victims were compensated through funds provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The compensation cost was placed at Sh4.5 billion (USD45 million), but many insist they did not get the funds.

Most of the people killed in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam were locals even though the attacks mainly targeted US facilities and nationals, to coincide with the eighth anniversary of the arrival of U.S troops om Saudi Arabia during the early stages of the Persian Gulf War.

Investigations from the US eventually narrowed down to 18 suspects, including their leader Osama Bin Laden, who was eventually killed on May 2, 2011.

Others were either killed or arrested, charged and sentenced.

Most were arrested in Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and are serving sentences in the United States, where some have died in prison, while others remain fugitives to date.

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