Africa Matters is a blog that follows the news and offers analysis of African affairs. Our aim is to delve deeper into the issues of African politics and development. We don’t presume to be experts, and we don’t presume to have all the answers—we are just trying to ask the right questions.

Monday, June 11

Explosion in Nairobi kills 1

An explosion in downtown Nairobi at about 8:15 am has left one dead and 31 injured, six critically.
Local media are reporting that the blast, which occurred next to the City Gate restaurant and the Ambassadeur Hotel in the city center, was an attempted suicide bombing, although this is not confirmed. The Ambassaseur Hotel is mostly frequented by Africans, and is located at a busy intersection where Citi Hoppa busses and communal taxis pick up passengers.

Witnesses say the explosion occurred as a man who appeared to be carrying grenades tried to jump on to a bus. Other witnesses reported that someone standing in a bus line exploded a grenade, and some say they thought an object was exploded remotely. The rush-hour explosion shattered nearby shop windows and was heard throughout downtown.

The site is roped off and traffic is backed up as police are investigating. The attack follows weeks of violence surrounding the government crack down on the Mungiki sect, a secret cartel that is rumored to have political ties. There is no evidence that today’s attack is related to the Mungiki violence.

Africa Matters bloggers in Nairobi are safe.