Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki pledged to improve security after an explosion late yesterday killed as many as three people at a bus station in the capital, Nairobi. Police in neighboring Uganda blamed the blast on Somali Islamist rebels.
“No efforts will be spared to ensure that security is beefed up,” Kibaki said in an e-mailed statement today. “Those behind the evil act will be brought to justice.”
The explosion occurred as passengers boarded a bus heading for Uganda’s capital, Kampala, injuring at least 30 people. It comes five months after Somalia’s Al-Shabaab Islamist group claimed responsibility for bomb blasts in Kampala that killed 76 people as they watched the soccer World Cup on television.
Nairobi-based The Standard newspaper reported today that three people died in the blast. Police believe the explosion may have been caused by a grenade and that one of the dead included a man thought to have been carrying the device, it said.
Al-Shabaab may be responsible for the attack, Kale Kayihura, Uganda’s inspector-general of police, told reporters in Kampala today. It may also be linked to attacks on Kenyan police his month.
“There is of course a connection,” Kayihura said. “Those ones who attacked the bus are related.”
Somalia lies on Kenya’s northern border and hasn’t had a functioning government since 1991 when dictator Siad Barre was overthrown. Al-Shabaab said at the time of the July blasts that it was targeting Uganda for deploying troops in Somalia to shore up the government in its fight against the Islamists. The group has made repeated threats this year to attack Uganda and Burundi, which has also sent troops to Somalia.
Kenya, which has pledged to help Uganda track down al- Shabaab militants, is East Africa’s biggest economy and the world largest producer of black tea. The Kenya shilling weakened as much as 0.9 percent to 81.17 per dollar today and was trading at 80.49 as of 2:40 p.m. in Nairobi.