Two bomb explosions took place in Nairobi yesterday.

The latest explosion occurred in a crowded working-class bus stop on Monday midnight. A reporter at the scene claimed to have seen at least one dead body, while the Kenyan Red Cross reported on its Twitter feed that one person was killed and eight others were taken to hospital, according to CBS-News. Kenyan media claimed at least one person was reported killed and eight injured.

Earlier on Monday, a grenade thrown into a bar, known as ‘Mwauras club’, caused serious injury on thirteen people. The bar was described, by the media, as ‘a downtrodden bar where only lower-income Kenyans meet’.

The Kenyan police didn’t have suspects for the grenade blast as the Kenyan Police Commissioner indicated in a brief press conference on Monday, following the first explosion. A news by the Associated Press news reported:

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere told a news conference on Monday that the grenade exploded at 01:15 AM (GMT+3) while 20 people were inside the bar. Three people were seriously wounded, he said. The blast overturned chairs and tables, and blood stained the floor. Iteere said police did not yet have any suspects.

"It is too early at this point in time to give a conclusive answer," he said, adding later: "The person who lobbed the grenade into the pub was not seen by anybody."

Police have tightened security around hotels, bridges and fuel depots, Iteere said.

The weapon used on Monday was a Russian-made F1 grenade, he said.

No group has taken responsibility so far, yet the top suspect is Al-Shabaab. Several leaders of the group publicly threated, in the past week, to attack ‘the heart of [Kenyans] interest’ in retaliation for the military assault the Kenyans launched about a week ago. Al-Shabaab was responsible for the July 2010 Kampala bombings that killed 79 people, who were watching World Cup games.

A warning issued last Saturday by the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi indicated an imminent terrorist attack, adding that likely targets include shopping malls and nightclubs where foreigners congregate.

The UN Security Council’s Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea stated that it has identified indigenous networks engaged in recruitment, radicalization and resource mobilization on behalf of Al-Shabaab in Kenya’, in its report last July. The report cautioned:

This disturbing trend, highlighted by the Kampala bombings, suggests not only that Al-Shabaab possesses the will and capability to conduct such attacks but that it is giving rise to a new generation of East African jihadist groups that represent a new security challenge for the region and the wider international community.

The Monitoring Group has also learned of extensive Kenyan networks linked to Al-Shabaab, which not only recruit and raise funds for the organization but also conduct orientation and training events inside Kenya. Similar, but smaller, networks are believed to exist elsewhere in East Africa, and Al-Shabaab has also established functional linkages with jihadist groups in northern, western and southern Africa.

In the past, Al-Shabaab’s presence in Kenya has been concentrated primarily within the ethnic Somali community. Since 2009, however, the group has rapidly expanded its influence and membership to non-Somali Kenyan nationals who, according to Monitoring Group estimates, today constitute the largest and most structurally organized non-Somali group within Al-Shabaab.

Describing the role of the Eritrean government, the report stated:

The documentary evidence obtained by the Monitoring Group from the embassy of Eritrea in Nairobi is only a small sample of what was physically available to the Monitoring Group. The Monitoring Group has been informed of the existence of volumes of such receipts documenting financial transfers to Somali individuals from the Eritrean embassy in Nairobi but has been unable to obtain all of them. However, those documents in possession of the Monitoring Group indicate the provision of financial support and issuance of passport to members and associates of Somali armed opposition groups in 2008. Additional testimonies gathered by the Monitoring Group in the course of its mandate, as well as the financial records of Shaakir and Haashi described above, indicate that such support has continued to the present, and that the embassy of Eritrea in Nairobi continues to maintain and exploit a wide network of Somali contacts, intelligence assets and agents of influence in Kenya.

Ethnic-Somalis make-up 2.4 million, out of the more than 37 million Kenyan population, and live in the eastern part of Kenya.


Related posts:

Go to the Terrorism archive, the Eritrean Terrorism archive or Check the drop-down lists at the top of the page to find related posts.

Daniel Berhane

more recommended stories