15 December 2013

Kenya: Death Toll in Pangani Matatu Explosion Rises to 6

Photo: Xinhua
Grenade attack in Nairobi's city shuttle that has claimed at least six lives.

Nairobi — The death toll from Saturday's matatu explosion in Pangani rose to six, after two of the blast casualties succumbed to injuries in hospital.

Nairobi police chief, Benson Kibue, told Capital FM News, that 30 others remain admitted, both at the referral hospital and at the Guru Nanak Hospital.

"We have lost two of the victims in hospital where about 30 others are still admitted," Kibue said. "We now have six people dead out of that incident."

He said detectives were interrogating a suspect picked up from the scene soon after the incident, although he could not immediately link him directly to the blast.

"We are still investigating and we have one suspect who was arrested soon after the incident. He is assisting us in the investigations," Kibue said of the blast blamed on an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED).

The matatu was headed to town from Eastleigh when the explosion went off at about 5.45 pm, causing an accident pile-up of six vehicles which rammed on one another after the explosion went off.

An emergency official who helped take victims out of the matatu, after the blast, said ten of them were in a critical condition when they pulled out.

"I was passing waiting for the traffic to clear so I can cross, then I heard a loud explosion and metals and other pieces from the vehicle were flying all over this place, and people shouting," Peterson Mwaura, a pedestrian said, "I ran back.

"People were crying for help, they were screaming, but the one lying here (at the scene) appeared to have died on impact," he said.

Kenya has suffered similar attacks in the past, since 2011 when Kenya sent its military to Somalia to pursue Al Shabaab attackers, mainly grenades thrown at bars or restaurants in Eastleigh, parts of Mombasa and key border towns of Wajir and Mandera.

On Friday night, one person was killed and three others wounded after twin blasts went off in Wajir town, in what was blamed on Al Shabaab attackers or their sympathizers.

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