Four held over attacks as death toll rises to seven
Posted Monday, March 12 2012 at 11:30
- Suspects, both Kenyan and foreign, rounded up in police effort to track down deadly terror cell
- Minister blames raid on Al-Shabaab
The death toll from Nairobi's grenade attack climbed to seven on Monday after one man succumbed to his injuries at Kenyatta National Hospital.
According to the the Kenya Red Cross, four people injured in the blast were discharged on Monday, with 42 still admitted.
Police on Sunday arrested four people in connection with the Saturday night grenade attack at the Machakos country bus station in which six people were killed and 63 injured.
Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said on Sunday initial indications were that the attacks could have been masterminded by Somali terror group Al-Shabaab.
“Obviously we suspect this attack to be linked to Al-Shabaab and we are going to pursue them within and into Somalia,” Prof Saitoti.
Police officers, who talked to the Nation on condition that they are not named because they are not allowed to comment on an ongoing investigation, said among the suspects are Kenyans and foreigners.
Nairobi deputy police boss Moses Ombati could not deny nor confirm the arrests. “We are seriously investigating the matter and that of course involves interrogating some people,” Mr Ombati said.
The sources told Nation the suspects were being questioned by officers from the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit.
Sunday’s grenade attacks follows a posting on Al-Shabaab’s Twitter account last week warning of an impending attack in the country.
The militant group had warned that its fighters had entered Kenya and were planning to strike at strategic installations. (READ: KDF warns of Shabaab threat at borders)
Since Kenya and the Somali Transitional Federal Government launched a joint operation against the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group, the militants have staged several attacks in the country.
Prof Saitoti said one person died on the spot while the other five died while undergoing treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
He termed the 7.30pm attack “unfortunate” and said investigations into the incident were ongoing.
“Such terrorists’ acts on innocent people will not be tolerated and the government will do everything within its power to ensure that security of Kenyans is guaranteed,” he said.
Prof Saitoti, who was addressing a press conference at Harambee House in Nairobi, said he was confident those behind the attack would be brought to justice, noting that those responsible for previous attacks had been caught.
“The government assures Kenyans that it will pursue the perpetrators of these acts wherever they are to face the full force of the law,” he added.
Prof Saitoti said that after the attacks at Kwa Mwaura’s and the Kaka Stage (OTC) in Nairobi, the police successfully apprehended the assailants and recovered explosives.
“Similarly in Mombasa, we were able to pre-empt a number of attempts by such criminals and also recovered several explosives and firearms,” he said.
In January, the militants attacked Gerille town near the Kenya-Somalia border just before 7pm, bombed the Administration Police camp, killed six and abducted three others.