A grenade was hurled into a crowded bus Saturday in Mombasa, killing three people and injuring 20, Mombasa County police commissioner Robert Kitur confirmed. Sunday evening, bombs simultaneously exploded on two buses traveling on a Nairobi highway, leaving three dead and 62 injured, the Interior Ministry said. An improvised explosive device, also known as an IED, also detonated Saturday on a path near a Nyali hotel, with no injuries reported.
While no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Islamic terrorist organization al-Shabaab, which has ties to al-Qaida, is suspected. Kenya has peacekeeping forces in Somalia, an al-Shabaab stronghold.
Kenyan deputy president William Ruto said the country would not be intimidated into “changing our local or foreign policy. We will not withdraw (from Somalia) until Somalia has a stable and secure government free from terror.”
Citizens are not as sure. “We are tired of empty promises that the (government) is in control and its habit of security officials issuing threats when incidents occur. Then the pattern repeats itself,” said Isabel Mwihaki, 27, who was present at the Sunday blasts.
“These attacks are spreading faster, and the government seems unable to contain them. It simply means (the government) is incapable of guaranteeing our security,” said Rose Nyambura, 21, who added two of her neighbors were injured in Sunday’s explosions.
Many were critical of haphazard security arrangements.
“I know terrorism could strike at any time, but the government should identify who the financiers and suppliers of IEDs and grenades are, and go after them, rather than issue strongly-worded statements of assurances after an attack,” said Joel Omoto, 29.