Two dead, 41 injured in Nairobi bus blast

Hezron Njoroge | Nation
One of the survivors. Police were on high alert in the city on Monday night after an explosive device went off near a Kampala-bound bus as passengers boarded it on River Road area of Nairobi. One of the survivors.

What you need to know:

  • Hawk-eyed staff save scores after blocking attackers from boarding Kampala-bound vehicle

Two people were killed and 41 injured in an explosion next to a Kampala-bound bus in downtown Nairobi on Monday night.

The blast occurred at 7.40pm as passengers were boarding a Kampala Coach bus in the River Road area.

Thirty three were being treated at Kenyatta National Hospital, four at MP Shah and four others at the Nairobi Hospital.

One man died at Kenyatta and a woman was pronounced dead on arrival at Nairobi Hospital. The man is suspected to have been among those carrying the box with the explosive device.

Bomb experts were sent to the scene to determine what kind of device went off.

The manager of the bus company, Mr Jamal Hamed Mohammed, said the attack occurred as passengers were queuing to board the bus.

Three men carrying a box tried to force their way into the bus without submitting to a security check.

“A struggle ensued between our security staff and the three men, which resulted in the box they were carrying to drop down, which was followed by a loud explosion,” Mr Mohammed said.

The man who died in the blast was among those who tried to force their way in. Had the bomb gone off inside the bus, the consequences would have been far more serious.

Speaking at the scene, Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere said it was too early to say whether the attack was related to earlier terrorism warnings in the region.

At the time the device went off, 30 passengers were already in the bus and were unharmed.

“The injured are admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital,” Nairobi police commander Antony Kibuchi said.

Just before the explosion, Uganda’s police chief had warned yesterday of “strong indications” that al-Qaeda-linked militants were planning an attack during the Christmas period and said security forces would issue an alert for vigilance.

The threats came from Islamist groups including al-Shabaab and Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Inspector General Kale Kayihura had said.

“Terror threats from al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab and ADF are the main threats as we go for the festive season and there are strong indications they want to attack,” he had said.

Uganda in July suffered East Africa’s worst attacks in 12 years when suicide bombers struck two Kampala bars, killing 76 people. Al-Shabaab militias claimed responsibility for the blast.

More than 200 people were killed in August 1998 when al-Qaeda operatives bombed American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.


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