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Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Nairobi, Africa
Attacks and step up security

Kenya’s police said on Tuesday investigations are underway to establish the cause of two grenade attacks which left at least one person dead and more than 20 others injured in the capital, Nairobi.

The second explosion at a bus station in the city center at around 8 p.m. local time on Monday killed one person and seriously injured eight others.

The attack took place as commuters were waiting for public transport at the congested bus terminus along Racecourse road, formerly OTC bus terminus in downtown Nairobi.

Earlier on Monday, at least 13 people were injured when a grenade was thrown into a bar in the downtown area.

An unidentified man posing as a customer threw a hand grenade inside Mwauras nightclub located in Nairobi’s downtown at about 2 a.m. local time, an attack, police said, could be linked to Al- Shabaab sympathizers in Nairobi.

The location of the second attack is not far from the scene of earlier attack on Monday morning that injured 13 people at a working class bar. No suspects have been identified.

Nairobi Provincial Commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu told journalists on Monday night at least 14 other people were hurt in the second attack and admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital with various injuries sustained in the attack that occurred at the bustling OTC bus terminus.

"The information we have at this moment is that one person has been killed and several others have been taken to the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)," Ndirangu said.

He said investigations to establish the cause of the two grenade attacks were underway but said the police have not established the motive behind the two attacks.

According to Ndirangu, the authorities suspect that the grenade that was used in the second attack was similar to type F1 that is manufactured in Russia and which was used to carry out attack on a nightclub on Monday morning.

He said none of the Kenyan forces uses that type of grenade, meaning that it entered Kenya through the illicit arms trafficking routes.

Police say a similar grenade was used last year on an attack against two police officers at the Kasarani Area in the capital Nairobi.

The two officers died.

"The officers on the ground are trying to put the pieces together to know what kind of device was used and what the origin was," Ndirangu said.

Ndirangu said it was too soon to attribute the violence to Al- Shabaab blamed for a spate of kidnappings of foreigners in the East African nation.

"You have heard there have been various and several threats from all areas.

"For now, we are saying it’s criminal.

"It doesn’t matter which group.

"But exploding a device on innocent people is a crime and that crime will be dealt with when we establish who was behind it," he said.

The Nairobi police boss, Anthony Kibuchi, said security forces have increased patrols in Nairobi, to prevent Al-Shabaab rebels from escaping into the country.

He said they were not ruling out the grenade attack to the threats that have been issued by Shabaab which has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States that is fighting to impose its own interpretation of Islamic law, or sharia, on Somalia.

"That is why I am appealing to city residents to be vigilant and cooperate with our officers," Kibuchi said.

The scene of the attack has been sealed off by the police who are combing the area with sniffer dogs.

The Monday attacks came two days after the U.S. Embassy in Kenya warned it had credible information of an imminent terror attack in Nairobi, nine days after Kenyan troops launched a military operation in Somalia to subdue the insurgents.

According to the U.S. Embassy, the terror attack is likely to target places where foreigners congregate in Kenya, including malls and night clubs.

However, Washington did not offer details on who might carry out such an attack, but said it has taken measures to limit official visits.

The embassy urged its citizens to consider deferring travel to Kenya.

The warning comes after Kenya sent troops across the border into Somalia to pursue Islamist Al-Shabaab militants.

The Al-Qaeda-allied militia group has threatened Kenya with retaliatory attacks, saying it considers the forces’ incursion an affront to Somalia’s sovereignty.

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