The Kenyan Red Cross said at least seven people were killed and 29 injured in an explosion on a minibus in Nairobi. The blast followed several grenade attacks across Kenya blamed on Somali militants and their sympathizers.
Residents prepare to carry the slain body of a woman killed during an explosion in a passenger mini-bus (matatu) in the Eastleigh neighbourhood of Kenya's capital Nairobi, November 18, 2012.
It is not yet known what caused the blast that tore through a 25-seat bus in the Eastleigh neighborhood of Nairobi.
Some witnesses and police said they saw an unidentified assailant throw a grenade. A VOA reporter at the scene said it was more likely a homemade bomb.
Whatever it was, the blast was powerful enough to reduce the bus to a blackened, burned out shell.
One witness, Mohammed Qadar Gudle said he felt the blast from 500 meters away. “I saw it, even the land was shaking," he said. "I thought it was an earthquake. So once I saw the car burning out, I ran to the near of it, and I saw almost seven people died and at least 25 injured, badly injured.”
Gudle said fighting broke out on the street following the explosion, as angry mobs turned on the Somali residents of Eastleigh. “So the Kenyan people they started fighting with the Somali members of the community and they started chasing away each other, throwing stones,” he added.
He said the fighting stopped as the police arrived on the scene, but tension remains high. A VOA reporter said neighborhood shops had closed, and residents were staying off the streets.
Kenya has experienced attacks on churches and public places across the country during the past year, including previous grenade attacks in Eastleigh. Police have blamed assailants linked to the Somali militant group al-Shabab, which has vowed to attack Kenya because Kenyan military forces entered Somalia last year to fight against the group.