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1 dead in Kenya bomb blast - police

06 December 2012, 11:04

Nairobi - One person has died hours after a bomb blast in the Kenyan capital that wounded eight others, the latest in a string of attacks, police said on Thursday.

The attack, a "roadside bomb which had been placed in a hole in the ground", according to Nairobi police chief Moses Nyakwama, was detonated during rush hour on Wednesday evening as people returned home from work.

"One person died in hospital and another is still admitted," Nyakwama said, adding that the rest had been released.

Kenya Red Cross said on Thursday that the one victim remaining in hospital was in a critical condition.

The blast was set off in the Nairobi's largely ethnic Somali neighbourhood of Eastleigh, where last month at least seven people were killed and many more wounded in a bomb attack on a bus.

Kenya has suffered a string of attacks often blamed on al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militants since it invaded Somalia last year.

The Kenyan troops, now integrated into an African Union force, seized the Shabaab bastion of Kismayo in September, a key southern Somali port, prompting warnings of retaliation from both the insurgents and their Kenyan supporters.

No one had claimed responsibility immediately for the attack Wednesday, and the Shebab have denied involvement in previous similar attacks.

Violence in Kenya - ranging from attacks blamed on Islamists to inter-communal clashes to a police crackdown on a coastal separatist movement - have raised concerns over security ahead of elections due in March 2013.

Five years ago, elections descended into deadly post-poll killings that shattered Kenya's image as a beacon of regional stability.

Last month, riots broke out in Nairobi's Eastleigh district after a bus was bombed, with running street battles between demonstrators and the police.



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