Six people were killed and dozens others seriously injured in blasts in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate Monday evening.
Most of those injured in the three explosions, were taken to Mother and Child Hospital, Guru Nanak Hospital and Kenyatta National Hospital, where 20 of the injured were admitted.
The attacks occurred at Sheraton Cafe and The New Kwa Muzairua Super Grill Centre along Eastleigh’s 11th Street at around 7.30pm. The two cafes are barely 300 metres apart.
According to the owner of Sheraton Cafe, Mr Patrick Gakuyu, people were watching the evening news when he heard two explosions followed by complete darkness.
He said when he tried to flee from the scene, he discovered that the door had been locked from outside.
“When I finally managed to get outside, I saw six bodies,” he said. Mr Gakuyu said he suspect the explosions were caused by grenades thrown into the cafe.
Nairobi County police commander Benson Kibue said initial reports indicated six people were killed and 11 others injured.
KNH chief executive Lily Koros appealed to Kenyans to donate blood to help the victims of the attacks.
On Sunday, a suspected terrorist died in the same estate after an explosive he was assembling went off. A grenade was also found in a church compound in Lamu on the same day.
Monday’s Eastleigh attack also follows the one that took place in Mombasa a fortnight ago in which six people were killed and scores injured after gunmen opened fire at worshippers at a church in Likoni.
The Australian government has issued a travel advisory, warning its citizens of possible terrorist attacks in Kenya.
“There is a serious and ongoing risk of large scale acts of terrorism in Nairobi and Mombasa. We advise Australians to avoid unnecessary visits to public places in Nairobi and Mombasa at this time,” the advisory said in part.
A statement posted on the High Commission’s website indicated that in light of the current security environment, the level of advice for Nairobi and Mombasa has been increased.
“We now advise Australians to reconsider their need to travel to Nairobi and Mombasa due to high threat of terrorist attack and high level of crime. We also continue to strongly advise Australians not to travel to border regions with Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan, because of the extremely dangerous security situation,” the statement added.
Security has been heightened in different parts of the country recently following reports of planned terrorist attacks using vehicles laden with explosives.
Both covert and overt operations have been stepped up, especially in Nairobi and Mombasa, where Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku also directed that an additional 500 officers be deployed.
A Toyota truck seized in Mombasa with six bombs is believed to be one of the three “dirty bomb” vehicles.
The bombs, which were safely detonated, had enough power to bring down a multi-storey building and cause massive civilian casualties.
Both Kenyan and FBI agents are racing against time to locate and disable the bomb vehicles, also known as Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices.
Kenya last Tuesday restricted all refugees to two camps after a weekend attack on a church near Mombasa.
Kenyans were also urged to report any refugees outside the overcrowded camps — Dadaab in the east and Kakuma in the northwest — to the police.
In Mombasa, police were given shoot-to-kill orders by County Commissioner Nelson Marwa three days after gunmen opened fire on worshippers at the Joy in Christ church in Likoni, killing six.
At least 15 others were injured, including a boy identified as Satrine Osinya who has a bullet in his skull. The boy was on Tuesday airlifted to the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi for surgery.
In Eldoret, fuel tankers are being escorted to Uganda by police.
Ugandan police offered the service after intelligence reports indicated there were terror plots against the tankers.
Security sources who did not wish to be named said they had received information that terror attacks were planned in major places in Kampala.