A terrorist attack on a city bus in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday killed five passengers traveling through a Somali-dominated neighborhood, according to Kenyan police. They claimed the terrorists used a grenade in the incident and believe the perpetrators are members of Somalia’s al-Qaeda affiliated Al Shabaab, according to an Israeli counterterrorism source, Lyle Prosman.
During 2012, Nairobi experienced a series of similar attacks in Nairobi that were also blamed on Somalia’s Al Shabaab Islamist group. The group staged an assault on a Nairobi’s Westfield Shopping Mall two months ago that left 67 shoppers dead, as reported by the Examiner.
Al Shabaab’s leaders claimed that this latest attack as with the September mall attack was meant to force Kenya’s government to withdraw its troops from Somalia where they are assisting African peacekeepers who are aiding the weak Somali government in its battle against the Islamists.
A news reporter at the scene in Pangani, an area considered to be the city’s home to many Somali refugees, claims he saw a burnt bus, metal and other debris on the street.
The Kenyan chapter of the Red Cross and hospital ambulances were immediately on the scene and paramedics reported that at least 20 people were taken to one hospital with three of them dying as a result of their injuries.
This latest incident follows another grenade attack on the previous day at a marketplace in northeast Kenya close to its border with Somalia. In that Friday attack, masked men allegedly tossed two grenades which killed one civilian and wounded about a dozen others.
Somalia’s Muslim terrorists had threatened Kenyan government officials with an increase in terrorist action after the country refused to withdraw its troops from Somalia, according to an Examiner news story.
“We will strike Kenyans where it hurts the most, turn their cities into graveyards and rivers of blood will flow in Nairobi,” Al Shabaab said in a recent statement.
Although Kenya is the ancestral home of U.S. President Barack Obama, and his Muslim family members still live in Kenya, there have been no comments from the White House or any of the administration’s national security officials.