Monday, December 20, 2010
GAIDI MTANZANIA ALBERT JOHN ORLANDO ALIPUA BOMU NAIROBI
BASI LA KAMPALA COACH BAADA YA KULIPULIWA NA GURUNETI
Usiku kuamkia leo wale wanaoaminika kuwa magaidi wa Al Shabab wamefanya shambulizi la guruneti jijini Nairobi. Aliyelipua bomu ni msafiri ambaye alikuwa akisafiri kwenda Kampala na alitokea Tanzania, "KISIWA CHA AMANI" kupitia mpaka wa "Laiktoktok" huko Rombo Mtu mmoja alikufa hapohapo. Habari zaidi kwa hisani ya The Standard la Kenya:
By CYRUS OMBATI
A suspected grenade blast tore into the side of a Kampala-bound bus in the heart of Nairobi Monday, killing three people and injuring over 30.
A man, suspected to have been carrying the explosive device was pronounced dead at Kenyatta National Hospital while two other people died while undergoing treatment at MP Shah Hospital, by the time of going to press.
A Dr Peter Wanyoike told The Standard that 37 people were admitted and three had been discharged. The incident occurred shortly before 8pm at the junction of Nduruma and River roads in Nairobi, as the bus prepared to leave for Uganda’s capital city, Kampala.
The brand new bus is part of a fleet belonging to Kampala Coach. A witness at the scene claimed the source of the explosion was a carton carried by one of the passengers that was being inspected before it was loaded onto the bus.
The blast occurred as passengers were lining up to board the bus. The company’s buses are popular with Kenyan students and traders travelling to Kampala because of their efficiency. At the time of going to press, it was not clear whether Kenyans were among those injured, but one person was confirmed dead by police.
Police said the dead man who was wearing blue jeans was believed to be carrying the suspected grenade that exploded while security officers at the entrance to the bus was screening him. His body was later preserved as investigations over his identity were launched.
While a terrorist link was not confirmed, the blast came on the back of a warning by Uganda’s police force Monday urging the public to be vigilant after militants believed to be linked to Al Shabaab of Somalia said they would carry out terror attacks in Kampala and Burundi’s capital Bujumbura. No mention was made of Kenya.
It was therefore not clear whether the blast was linked to the threat, or if indeed it was a terrorist attack. The Al Shabaab is a Somalia Islamist group linked to terror group Al Qaeda, and claimed responsibility for the July 11 bombings in Kampala that left 80 people dead and others injured. Those attacked then were revellers watching a Fifa World Cup finals match.
At the time, Al Shabaab said the attack was in revenge for Uganda’s decision to deploy its troops as part of an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia known as AMISON. Burundi troops are also part of AMISON.
Monday’s warning was issued by Mr Idi Sekumbi, spokesman for the Kampala Metropolitan Police who was quoted as saying: "I would like to inform the public that these warnings are becoming constant and that it is incumbent upon all of us to take serious measures to make sure that these people do not have a lee way of penetrating us again." According to the bus conductor, Mr Hussein Abdulaziz, the bus was supposed to leave at 7.30 pm, but was delayed.
"The bus had arrived late and the passengers were scrambling to get in as we screened them. In the confusion, there was an explosion before I saw at least six people lying here," said Abdulaziz.
The conductor added that the dead man is believed to have been carrying the explosive that went off because his stomach was completely ripped off.
Abdulaziz said there were about 20 passengers who had boarded by then and others were still being screened when the explosion went off. The bus had booked 45 passengers including the crew. Commissioner of police Mathew Iteere, director general of NSIS Michael Gichangi, GSU commandant William Saiaya were among the first senior police officers who arrived at the scene minutes after the explosive went off. Iteere later told the media that the dead man is the one who was carrying the explosive, but added that he was yet to know the nature.
"We can confirm that one person died and we believe he is the one who was carrying the explosive. Our experts are working on the scene to know more," said Iteere.
The man’s fingerprints were immediately taken and rushed to the Registrar of Persons to confirm his identity, which was expected by midnight.
Iteere said the damage could have been more serious and devastating had the bomber managed to detonate the suspected grenade after boarding. Among those seriously injured was a woman whose legs were badly cut in the incident.