[QODLink]
Africa
Kenyan police probe Nairobi blast
Anti-terror police lead investigation into explosion at shopping complex in capital that left dozens of people injured.
Last Modified: 29 May 2012 04:11
The explosion is the latest in a string of blasts to hit the Kenyan capital since late 2011 [Reuters]

Kenyan police are investigating an explosion at a shopping complex in Nairobi's business district which left at least 28 people wounded.

Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said on Monday that anti-terrorism police were combing the blast site in the city centre for clues, appearing to row back on an earlier suggestion by the police commissioner that a massive electrical fault might be to blame.

"The investigating team is exploring the possibility that the blast was caused by criminals using an improvised explosive device," Kiraithe said in a statement.

Shopkeepers had earlier told the Reuters news agency independently that they saw a man drop a bag inside the trading centre moments before the blast.

"He came into the shop twice, looking at t-shirts. He said he didn't have money so he left. Then he came back," said Irene Wachira.

"[He was] three shops away from where I was. He left a bag and a few moments later we had an explosion. The roof caved in and debris started falling on us," Wachira said.

Al Jazeera's Peter Greste, reporting from Nairobi, said that most of the devastation seemed to be "in a small and confined space" and that security sources had told him that evidence suggested a grenade might have been used.

"So although we don't have an official explanation for the explosion, the indications are that it might have been some kind of bomb attack," said our correspondent.

'Heinous act'

Raila Odinga, the Kenyan prime minister, also suggested the blast had been a deliberate attack, calling it an "act of terrorism".

"This is a heinous act, we are under threat but we will not be cowed," he said. 

The Kenya Red Cross said on Twitter that 28 people had been admitted to hospital with four patients in a critical condition.

A spokesman for Kenya Power, the country's sole electricity distributor, said initial investigations had ruled out any electrical malfunction. 

Kenya has experienced a series of attacks in recent months, both in Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa, blamed on Somalia's al-Shabab and their sympathisers since October when Kenya sent troops into Somalia to fight the Islamic armed group.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
In run-up to US midterm elections, backers of immigration law changes disappointed by postponement of executive action.
As China reneges on pledged free elections, Tiananmen-style democracy movement spreads out across Hong Kong.
Acquitted of murdering his girlfriend, S African double amputee athlete still has a long and bumpy legal road ahead.
California school officials work with local community and Arab-American rights group to reach suitable compromise.
Families of disappeared persons have little recourse in finding their loved ones as gang violence remains rampant.
join our mailing list