Two youths were killed and seven people injured in a grenade attack at a refugee camp in northeastern Kenya, the country’s Red Cross has reported.
The explosion at the Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab occurred on Friday evening at a popular restaurant, normally frequented by locals.
“The seven victims sustained multiple shrapnel wounds from the grenade blast in different parts of their bodies and were rushed to hospital, where they are still admitted and receiving treatment,” the Red Cross said in a statement.
The Dadaab refugee camp complex, the world’s biggest, lies about 100km from the border with Somalia.
“We lost two people and others have been injured,” Philip Tuimur, the regional police chief, said. Another police source said the grenade was thrown from a moving vehicle.
Dadaab has sheltered Somalis fleeing violence and drought for more than 20 years, and their numbers currently stand at nearly half a million.
Attacks have increased within Kenya since Nairobi sent army soldiers into southern Somalia to fight Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked Shabab fighters in late 2011.
Similar attacks and cross-border raids in the region have been blamed on the fighters or their Kenyan supporters, who have vowed revenge.
The Shabab still control large parts of southern Somalia, despite African Union troops, allied Somali forces and Ethiopian soldiers having wrested control of several key towns.
Kenyan troops, now integrated into the African Union force, seized the Shabab bastion of Kismayo, a key southern Somali port, in September.
That led to warnings of retaliation from both the Islamist insurgents and their Kenyan supporters.
But al-Shabab have denied involvement in previous similar bombings.
Violence in Kenya, ranging from attacks blamed on Islamists, inter-communal clashes and a police crackdown on a coastal separatist movement, have raised concerns over security ahead of elections due in March 2013.
Five years ago, elections descended into deadly post-poll killings that shattered Kenya’s image as a beacon of regional stability.
In Somalia in 2011, famine caused by extreme drought exacerbated by conflict claimed tens of thousands of lives and affected more than four million people, according to the United Nations.
Over a million Somalis are displaced inside the country, while over a million are refugees in neighbouring nations, according to UN figures.