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Economy & Politics

Another black Sunday after explosion inside city matatu claims seven lives

At least seven passengers were on Sunday killed and more than 33 others injured when an explosion rocked a Kariobangi-bound matatu.

The mini-bus registration KAY 713F driven by Mr Benard Kibe left the city centre for Kariobangi through Eastleigh, but on reaching Second Street near St Teresa’s, the vehicle was blown up by an the explosion.

Mr Kibe said that he heard an explosion that threw the vehicle up before it landed few metres away from the point of the blast.

As a result of the impact, the matatu parts and luggage were strewn all over the road. Two vehicles that were parked beside the road were completely damaged.

Shortly after the deadly attack, members of the public started attacking some members of the Somali community before the General Service Unit (GSU) personnel moved in to contain the situation and rescued those being attacked.

Nairobi provincial police officer Moses Ombati said that eye witnesses saw a man jumping out of the matatu and tried to enter a vehicle that was following the matatu but he fell down before the members of the public cornered him.

“We are not sure whether he is the person behind the attacks or it is a case of mistaken identity, but we are seriously investigating the incident,” said Mr Ombati.

The KNH’s Emergency Operations officer Nicholas Thuo said that they received six bodies and 28 victims. “Most of the 28 victims are in critical condition,” said Mr Thuo.

He added that 26 were men while the other two were female.

Five victims

Another five victims who were attacked after the blast are however said to be in stable conditions.

The KNH had to recall the staff who were off duty to help in managing the patients.

Hospital chief executive officer Richard Lasiyampe said that most of the survivors sustained injuries on the chest, limbs and the lower abdomen.

Mr Lasiyampe said that they had received adequate quantities of blood from the National Blood Transfusion Centre.

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka condemned the attack.

“Once again, cowardly criminals and extremists have killed innocent Kenyans and maimed others,” he said. “Their intention is to instill fear and despondency. Our security agencies will continue their vigilance and fight against such enemies of the public until they are fully silenced,” he said in a statement.

He condoled the bereaved families, saying: “We pray for quick recovery for the injured.”

Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan appealed to the members of the public to remain calm and vigilant and not engage themselves in retaliatory attacks.

“I appeal to you all to remain calm and as always remain vigilant,” said Yusuf.

Fear gripped Eastleigh area as hundreds of young men armed with crude weapons started marching from neighbouring slums and started attacking traders and looting their businesses.

A fortnight ago, three people were injured in an explosion in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate at around 7am.

Last week, another blast occurred within the same area at Joska Supermarket injuring one man who police are still holding as a suspect.

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