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Attack on Kenya bus kills seven

NAIROBI, Nov 18, 2012, Reuters: 0:13 IST
A grenade tore through a minibus in Nairobi’s Somali-dominated Eastleigh neighbourhood on Sunday, killing at least seven people in an attack highlighting the security risks Kenya faces because of its intervention in Somalia to fight Islamist militants.

Kenya has suffered a string of deadly attacks in its capital 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 militants and their sympathisers in retaliation for Kenya’s deployment of troops in neighbouring Somalia last year to drive out al-Qaeda-linked militants which Nairobi has blamed for attacks on its territory.

“I saw bodies ripped apart,” said a Reuters photographer at the scene of the blast. He saw a crowd lifting five dead bodies wrapped in sacks onto the back of a police vehicle.

The force of the explosion left only the charred skeleton of the minibus, the orange seats ripped apart. The windows of a nearby cafe were shattered and two other cars were damaged.

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

The Kenya Red Cross said on its Twitter account that seven people had been killed and 24 people had been taken to hospital.

“I just heard a blast. I thought I’d hit something. The van was suddenly thrown upwards,” the matatu’s driver, Bernard Kibe, told reporters at the scene.

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