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Nairobi Attack Threatens Kenya's Tourism

Grenade attack on "Mwaura's Bar" shocks Nairobi

Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Kenya  Oct 24, 2011

Kenyans will be waking up to shock news that an apparent grenade attack on a local bar in Nairobi has left at least 14 injured, some of them seriously. The attack occurred around 3 a.m. when the bar was already “closed” but patrons inside continued to drink. Because of the recently-passed Kenyan controversial law, which prohibits “after hour drinking,” private club and bar owners have resorted to ‘private parties to circumvent arrests, closures and license forfeitures.

While at this time of the night no one was available to issue any official comment, a great deal of open speculation occurred on Twitter and other social media over both the motive and the perpetrators of the attack.

Al Shabab, Somalia’s best known Islamist terror and militant group, had threatened reprisals and revenge attacks in Kenya following the TGF sanctioned cross border operation by the Kenyan army, navy and air force, and while security was visibly stepped up in major hotels, resorts, businesses, office buildings and restaurants, some of the smaller local establishments may have been slow in following recommendations by Kenya’s security officials on how to improve safety. Last weekend had the US Embassy warned their citizens of an “imminent and credible terror threat” in Kenya, but the way these news were broken left “official Kenya” upset over the format, though government was not denying that increased vigilance and surveillance was needed to prevent any incident.

Some of the sketchy reports from Nairobi suggest that someone who tried to enter the bar and was not allowed in, threw the grenade inside before fleeing the scene. It is presently unknown if this was a simple criminal attack, based on business rivalries as has been the case before ,or a terror attack carried out by Al Shabab sympathizers, although the haphazard way it was carried out could suggest that it was not done by a “trained terrorist.” Watch this space for updates.

Grenade attack on "Mwaura's Bar" shocks Nairobi
Blood stains on floorboards inside the bar following the attack / Image via Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

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