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Mombasa grenade attack on open-air church service rattles Kenya

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(eTN) – A grenade thrown last evening at around 7:00 p.m.

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(eTN) – A grenade thrown last evening at around 7:00 p.m. into a crowd of Christian worshippers at an open-air prayer meeting in Mombasa injured at least dozen people, while in Nairobi, an hour-and-a-half later, at least 4 people were injured in a similar attack. The devices were thrown from a motorbike, according to witnesses in Mombasa, and a car, as seen in Nairobi, and no arrests were made until this morning.

The Mombasa attack comes almost exactly a year since a similar act of terror was carried out, but in Nairobi grenades thrown at local bars, pubs, and bus stages have been a recurring situation since Kenya invaded Somalia in hot pursuit of Islamic terrorists to dislodge with the help of AU troops from Uganda and Burundi the Al Shabab militias from their strongholds. While this objective has by and large been accomplished, even though periodic attempts are made by remnants of the terrorist group affiliated to Al Qaida to re-enter the main cities and cause disruption, life has been progressively returning to normal in Somalia, while Kenya sadly remains at risk for her courageous action.

Sources in Kenya agreed that both attacks were likely carried out by Al Shabab sympathizers but expressed their disquiet over the apparently coordinated way, since both were only an hour-and-a-half apart.

Security organizations have once again moved out in force to carry out door-to-door searches in the affected areas and parts of Nairobi and Mombasa where in the past suspects have been arrested.

The country’s tourism industry has until this morning shown little reaction though regular sources expressed their concern that now, as the high season is due to start again in July, this may have a negative impact on the sector’s performance.

Regular visits by this correspondent to Kenya, including short one-day trips in recent weeks, affirm this stand that airport and hotel security remain vigilant at a high level and that none of Al Shabab’s threats for a major retaliation have come true, largely as a result of the work done by Kenyan security organizations and their colleagues from abroad assisting them to keep the country safe.

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.