Deaths reported in Kenya bus blast

Grenade attack destroys a minibus in a Somali-dominated neighbourhood of the capital, Nairobi, killing at least five.

nairobi bomb
The string of attacks on Nairobi over the past year have been blamed on Somali groups [AFP]

At least five people have been killed after a grenade destroyed a minibus in a Somali-dominated part of Nairobi, Kenyan security officials say.

Police said Sunday’s blast in the capital’s Eastleigh neighbourhood was probably caused  by an explosive device.

Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi, reporting from the scene of the explosion, said here is a big population of Somalis in Eastleigh, adding that “it is very worrying because just last week there were two IED attacks in this neighbourhood”, using the acronym for improvised explosive devices

“I saw bodies ripped apart,” a Reuters photographer who witnessed Sunday’s blast.

Moses Ombati, Nairobi regional police commander, said a grenade had been thrown into the minibus, commonly referred to as matatus in Kenya.

He confirmed that five people had been killed, while the Kenya Red Cross said on its Twitter account that seven people had died and 24 had been taken to hospital.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The force of the explosion tore apart the vehicle’s roof and seats and shattered the window of a nearby cafe. Two other cars were damaged, the photographer said.

“There was a passenger on the minibus and he came out just before the explosion,” our correspondent said.

“People have been injured and they’ve been taken to the hospital; police are at the scene.”

Kenya has suffered a string of deadly attacks in Nairobi, the southern port city of Mombasa as well as the eastern garrison town of Garissa over the past year.

The attacks have been blamed on Somali groups and their sympathisers in retaliation for Kenya’s decision to send troops into Somalia last year to drive out al-Qaeda-linked fighters which Kenya has blamed for attacks on its territory.

African Union peacekeepers, led by Kenyan forces, drove al-Shabaab out of their last major urban stronghold of Kismayu in southern Somalia seven weeks ago.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies