BBC News – Kenya’s Nairobi hit by twin blasts in Gikomba market



Blast aftermath

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Footage of the aftermath of the explosions

Two explosions have struck the Gikomba market area of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, killing at least 10 people and injuring scores, officials say.

It is not clear what caused the blasts but Kenya has been hit by a spate of attacks in recent years.

They have mostly been blamed on the al-Shabab militant Islamist group from neighbouring Somalia.

Hundreds of British tourists have been evacuated from the coastal resort area of Mombasa amid warnings of an attack.

British tour companies have suspended flights to Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city.

High threat

The Kenyan National Disaster Operation Centre said the first explosion occurred in a minibus, the second in the large open-air Gikomba market.

Police officials told the Reuters news agency they suspected the blast had been caused by an improvised explosive device.

Damaged vehicles at the site of the explosion in Nairobi (16 May 2014)The twin blast happened at a crowded second-hand clothes market in Nairobi
Medics transport an injured woman on a stretcher in Nairobi (16 May 2014)Hospital officials said at least 70 people were injured in the attack

Pictures from the scene showed clothing blown onto telephone wires above. Fire engines and the Red Cross were at the scene tending the injured.

Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi said at least 70 people had been wounded.

“Many of the injured are bleeding profusely. We need a lot of blood,” a spokesman said.

President Kenyatta vowed to fight “evil” terrorism following the attacks.

“All of us around the world must be united to ensure that we are able to fight this particular terror,” he said at a news conference.

A soldier stands guard in front of a crowd at the scene of the blast in Nairobi (16 May 2014)Police increased security at bus stops earlier this week
British tourists queue at the check-in at Mombasa airport (16 May 2014)Hundreds of British tourists have been evacuated from Mombasa amid warnings of an attack

Earlier this week, authorities tightened security at bus stations, requiring all passengers to be screened before boarding. They also ordered all vehicles to have clear glass windows.

Friday’s bombings took place two days after the UK, France and the US warned there was a high threat of attacks in Kenya.



Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta

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Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke out against the attacks

Kenya had rebuked the countries for issuing their warnings, saying the tourism industry would be affected.

Correspondents say many Kenyans are expressing their frustration at the worsening insecurity.

File photo of al-Shabab militants

The government recently round up all refugees of Somali origin in an attempt to rid the city of terror suspects they believe to be hiding among refugees.

The al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab has launched a series of attacks against Kenyan targets in recent years, claiming to be retaliating for Kenya’s military involvement in Somalia since 2011.

Last September, at least 67 people were killed when al-Shabab fighters seized the upmarket Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi for four days.

Earlier this year, there were riots in Mombasa after a radical Muslim cleric who was accused of recruiting youngsters for al-Shabab was shot dead.

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16 May 2014 | 3:13 pm – Source: bbc.co.uk
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