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Police link al-Shabab to Nairobi attack

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fourteen people injured in grenade attack at disco which Kenyan police say they are linking to threats by Somali group.
Kenyan police say they are linking a grenade attack on a Nairobi nightclub to recent threats against Kenya issued by al-Shabab fighters.

The attack, early on Monday at the Mwauras disco in the Kenyan capital, left 14 people injured, according to police.

It followed warnings of attacks by al-Shabab after Kenyan forces crossed into Somalia to hunt down members of the armed group, who are blamed for a series of recent abductions near the Somali border.

"Yes, we are linking the grenade attack to the threats that have been issued by al-Shabab and that is why I am appealing to city residents to be vigilant and co-operate with our officers," said Antony Kibuchi, provincial police chief for Nairobi.

But Peter Greste, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Nairobi, said there was no hard evidence linking the group to the attack.

"What the police are saying is 'We simply have a coincidence of the warning from al-Shabab that they would attack Kenya, and then we have the grenade attack from last night'," he said.

"There is absolutely no physical evidence whatsoever, and it could be any one of a number of people."

"This could be criminal, such as business rivals looking to damage a competitor, or it could be al-Shabab sympathisers," he said.

On Saturday, the US embassy in Nairobi issued a warning over possible attacks, citing "credible information of an imminent threat of terrorist attacks directed at prominent Kenyan facilities and areas where foreigners are known to congregate, such as malls and nightclubs."

The wounded were taken to Nairobi's national Kenyatta Hospital. A doctor told Reuters news agency that some were seriously injured but most had light head injuries.

Bernard Momanyi, a journalist in Nairobi, told Al Jazeera that all of those wounded were Kenyan nationals.

Kenya sent troops into Somalia following the abductions of a British tourist, a disabled French woman who has since died in captivity and two Spanish aid workers. Al-Shabab, which denies kidnapping foreigners, has repeatedly warned of bloody retaliation.


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