- POSTED: 15 Dec 2013 06:12
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An explosion on a bus in Nairobi killed four people and wounded 36 Saturday in the fourth attack to rock the week marking the 50th anniversary of Kenya's independence.
NAIROBI: An explosion on a bus in Nairobi killed four people and wounded 36 Saturday in the fourth attack to rock the week marking the 50th anniversary of Kenya's independence.
The string of attacks, for which no one has claimed responsibility, have left a total of 13 people dead since Tuesday.
"We are investigating to establish if the explosion was caused by a grenade or an improvised explosive device," said Benson Kibue, Nairobi area police chief, as earlier reports had said it was caused by a grenade.
"We also want to establish if the attacker was in the vehicle or if it was thrown at it," he added.
According to the police, the bus came from Nairobi's Eastleigh neighbourhood, home to a sizeable Somali community and known as "Little Mogadishu". The bus exploded in the nearby area of Pangani.
The blast blew the bus apart, turning it into a mangled metal skeleton. All the windows were blown out and several cars that were following the bus were also hit by the explosion, an AFP photographer at the scene reported.
He also saw a body being extracted from a heavily damaged car just to the right of the bus.
The sudden blast sent metal and other pieces of the bus "flying everywhere, and people were screaming", said witness Peterson Mwaura. "They were calling out for help and crying."
The Red Cross said police on Saturday night dispersed a crowd of rioters in the street where the bus exploded.
The attack comes as Kenya celebrates 50 years of independence from Britain.
Since Kenyan troops invaded southern Somalia in October 2011 to help oust the neighbouring country's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents, it has been hit by a wave of attacks - four in just the past five days.
Late Friday at least one person was killed and three others seriously wounded when twin explosions rocked the Kenyan town of Wajir near the Somalia border, said police, indicating it was likely the work of Shebab insurgents or their sympathisers.
Also near the troubled border with Somalia, gunmen on Tuesday killed eight Kenyans including five policemen in an ambush.
And on Thursday, the very day celebrating Kenya's half-century as an independent nation, attackers hurled a grenade at British tourists but it failed to explode - a rare attack specifically targeting foreign visitors who are key to the economy.
The tourists came under attack while travelling by road from the Indian Ocean coastal resort of Diani to Kenya's main port of Mombasa which is troubled by extremist groups.
Homegrown groups including the Islamist Al-Hijra group, a radical organisation formerly known as the Muslim Youth Centre, operate on Kenya's coast and have been linked to the Shebab.
The Shebab claimed the brutal September assault on Nairobi's upmarket Westgate mall in which at least 67 people died in a four-day seige of the shopping centre popular with foreigners.