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Witnesses told Somalia Report that at least three people were killed directly by the grenades, while 15 others were taken by ambulances and rushed to the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi. An eyewitness, Dennis Mutula,told Somalia Report that the grenades were thrown out of a Toyota pickup towards the bus terminals.
Police said that the four grenades were thrown from a moving vehicle over about 100 meters. The blasts targeted Kenyan civilians heading home for the weekend. Kenyan security agencies and emergency services, including the Kenyan Red Cross, rushed to the scene to offer medical assistance.
Al-Shabaab are the obvious suspects behind the attacks, thought to be a by al-Shabaab militia, as it follows hours after an offensive in south-west Somalia has left 50 troops and al-Shabaab fighters dead.
Somalia Report Speaks with MP Yusuf Hassan On The AttacksA Kenyan Member of Parliament (MP) of Somali background, Yusuf Hassan, showed up on the scene of the attack to investigate. He spoke with Somalia Report about the attack.
Honorable sir, can you talk about what happened tonight in downtown Nairobi?
Does the Kenyan government have any information about who was behind this attack? Were there any arrests as yet?
No arrests have been made, and we have no information as yet as to who was behind the attack, but we are waiting for the Kenyan security forces to identify who was behind this miserable incident.
Somalia Report heard that five people have died and 21 others wounded. As you have visited the scene and local hospitals, what have you seen there?
I visited the scene of the attack, and also visited the Kenyatta National Hospital. I saw almost 40 people who were injured in the attacks. While I was at the hospital, two of the injured people died. I can verify for you that five people died in the grenade attacks, according to the Kenyan police.
As the only Kenyan-Somali MP in Nairobi, did you see any Somalis who were injured this explosion?
I didn't see any Somalis who were injured this incident, but where the attack took place is not known for Somali people. There are no Somalis working there.
Honorable Yussuf Hassan, we know the Kenyan Defense Forces entered Somalia territory October last year. If these kind of attacks increase on Kenyan soil, will this affect the thousands of Somali refugees in Kenya?
We cannot comment on that, and we cannot say how this will affect impacts Somali refugees in Kenya. No-one has claimed responsibility of this horrible incident as yet. It is unacceptable to attack your neighbours. As the MP for Kamukunji, I will not accept attacks against Kenyan civilians.
What is your message to the Somali people in Nairobi?
I would like to tell Somalis that they must alerted and ready to work closely with Kenyan security forces. They must be aware of those who working to damage their dignity and targeting Kenyan civilians. If anyone sees suspicious people, they must report them to the closest police station to prevent harm to civilians and the security of Kenya.
UPDATE: Al-Shabaab claim responsibility
A senior al-Shabaab official in Gedo region spoke to Somalia Report today claiming responsibility for last night’s grenade attacks in Nairobi.
Sheikh Adam Mohamed Barre confirmed that the attacks were carried out by their fighters and swore that more suicide attacks would ensue in Nairobi.
“Kenya believes that we cannot carry out explosions in their capital but we are planning massive suicide attacks against Kenya and its people. Their people will never forget the pain and damage that we will inflict upon them,” promised Sheikh Adam.
The attack has bred fear among the Somali refugee population in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estates where police crackdown operations that usually victimize locals are expected to begin afresh.
Sheikh Adam also stated that they intend to increase their attacks in all the big cities during Kenya’s upcoming election year.