Saturday, December 14, 2013

Kenya 4 killed, 36 wounded in explosion as bus blown apart in Nairobi

People stand behind caution tape near the scene of an explosion near Nairobi's Eastleigh neighbourhood
on December 14, 2013 (AFP, John Muchucha)
Nairobi (AFP) — An explosion on a bus in Nairobi killed four people and wounded 36 Saturday in the fourth attack to rock the week marking the 50th anniversary of Kenya's independence.

The string of attacks, for which no one has claimed responsibility, have left a total of 13 people dead since Tuesday.

"We are investigating to establish if the explosion was caused by a grenade or an improvised explosive device," said Benson Kibue, Nairobi area police chief, as earlier reports had said it was caused by a grenade.

"We also want to establish if the attacker was in the vehicle or if it was thrown at it," he added.

According to the police, the bus came from Nairobi's Eastleigh neighbourhood, home to a sizeable Somali community and known as "Little Mogadishu". The bus exploded in the nearby area of Pangani.

The blast blew the bus apart, turning it into a mangled metal skeleton. All the windows were blown out and several cars that were following the bus were also hit by the explosion, an AFP photographer at the scene reported.

He also saw a body being extracted from a heavily damaged car just to the right of the bus.

The sudden blast sent metal and other pieces of the bus "flying everywhere, and people were screaming", said witness Peterson Mwaura. "They were calling out for help and crying."

The Red Cross said police on Saturday night dispersed a crowd of rioters in the street where the bus exploded.

The attack comes as Kenya celebrates 50 years of independence from Britain.

Since Kenyan troops invaded southern Somalia in October 2011 to help oust the neighbouring country's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents, it has been hit by a wave of attacks -- four in just the past five days.