At least eight people have been killed in an attack on an Israeli-owned hotel near the city of Mombasa on the Kenyan coast. Missiles were also fired at an Israeli airliner as it was taking off from a Mombasa airport, but narrowly missed.
The bomb went off in the Paradise Hotel in Malindi, 25 kilometers from the coastal city of Mombasa, on Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. local time.
At about the same time, in an apparently coordinated attack, two missiles were fired at an Israeli Arkia airliner as it was leaving Mombasa International Airport. The missiles missed their target.
Witnesses say they saw a number of bodies lying in the lobby of the hotel, which is known to be frequented by Israeli tourists. Reports say the hotel explosion was caused by a car bomb.
When the bomb went off, a group of Israeli tourists was just checking in to the hotel after arriving on a flight from Israel. Several of them were injured in the blast and have been taken to hospital, along with several local staff who were also injured.
The pilot of the Arkia airliner is reported to have seen two flashes of light passing close to the plane. The plane, carrying 261 passengers, continued on to Israel.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks.
Kenya's ambassador to Israel, John Sawe, said on Thursday there was "no doubt" al-Qaida terrorists were responsible.
In 1998, more than 200 people were killed in a terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. U.S. authorities have linked the embassy attack to al-Qaida, the terrorist group responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States.