Kenya: Explosions Wrack Buses in Nairobi

Kenyan media say explosive devices have wracked two buses in Nairobi. Casualties are feared. The attacks follow twin blasts in Mombasa that killed four people.

Two buses driving along a busy highway in central Nairobi were hit by explosions on Sunday. The incidents followed four deaths on Saturday during a grenade attack at a bus stop in Mombasa (pictured), Kenya's port hub and second-largest city.

Footage on Kenyan television show on Sunday showed a large red passenger bus with a large hole ripped out of its side, and a green bus with its roof and sided buckled by an explosion, about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) away.

Kenyan media said that explosive devices, possibly powerful grenades, had been thrown at the buses driving along the Thika Highway close to Nairobi's city center.

Associated Press quoted a senior police officer as saying one person had died and several others had been wounded.

Another police officer at the scene told the news agency AFP that "27 people have been taken to hospital with injuries. Six of them have serious injuries."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Nairobi incidents. After Saturday's bombings in Mombasa, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had blamed "terrorists."

Controversial crackdown

Kenya has experienced a series of gun and explosives attacks since it sent troops to Somalia in 2011 to fight the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab.

Last year, it claimed responsibility for a September attack on a Nairobi shopping mall, which left at least 67 people dead.

In recent months, Kenyan security forces have staged a controversial series of arrests, ostensibly aimed at Islamists linked to al-Shehab.

Human rights groups have heavily criticized the Kenyan crackdown, saying police had indiscriminately targeted people of Somali origin instead of criminals. Radical Islamist leaders also have been gunned down.

Kenyan troops are still posted in southern Somalia as part of an African Union force supporting a fragile internationally backed government in Mogadishu.

Mombasa tense

In Mombasa on Saturday evening, a grenade was thrown into a crowd at a bus stop, killing four people and wounding 15 other bystanders. A second blast occurred at an upscale hotel but did not result in casualties.

Bomb alerts prompted police to blow up a suspect bag at a church. Residents said security had been tight in Mombasa before Sunday church services.

ipj/jm (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

DW.DE

Date 04.05.2014

Keywords Kenya, explosions, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kenyatta, al-Shehab, crackdown, Somali, Somalia. Mogadishu

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