A BOMB tore through a minibus in Nairobi’s Somali-dominated Eastleigh neighbourhood yesterday, killing six people in an attack highlighting the security risks Kenya faces because of its intervention in Somalia to fight al Qaeda-linked militants.
Kenya has suffered a string of deadly attacks in its capital Nairobi, the port city of Mombasa and 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 Shabaab rebels whom Nairobi has blamed for attacks on Kenyan territory.
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.
The attacks in Kenya have intensified since Kenyan troops, alongside African Union forces, launched an offensive seven weeks ago against al Shabaab’s last major urban stronghold, the Somali port of Kismayu, forcing the rebels to flee.
Bystander Maurice Ouma said: “The government has to take responsibility for providing security for its citizens,” he said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but tensions rose in Eastleigh, a Nairobi district often referred to as “Little Mogadishu”.
Witnesses reported Kenyan nationals throwing stones at Somalis in Eastleigh, apparently blaming them for the attack.