Two explosions in Kenya’s port city of Mombasa have killed at least three people and injured several others, witnesses and local media have said.
Kenya’s interior ministry said three people were killed and scores wounded in the Mwembe Tayari area of Mombasa after a grenade was thrown into a crowd near a bus stop.
“I didn’t see who threw the object, but I heard a loud explosion before I fell to the ground. I then felt my legs go numb”, witness Halima Sidi, told the Reuters news agency, whilst being treated at a hospital.
Another blast occurred at the Reef Hotel, a beachside tourist resort in the Nyari area of the city, Kenya’s disaster operations centre said.
Guards at the seaside resort said they had prevented attackers from entering, but the suspects threw a bag with an explosive device into the compound. A roof of one building was ripped off by the blast and part of its wall collapsed.
“We had two incidents, one at the bus station where three people lost their lives. In the second incident that occurred near a hotel in Nyali there were no casualties,” a police official told the AFP news agency.
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for Saturday’s attack, but Mombasa has been hit by a wave of violence as the government continues a major crackdown on armed fighters suspected of having links with neighbouring Somalia’s al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab rebels.
Al-Shabab has carried out a series attacks on Kenyan soil to avenge the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia, and was responsible for September’s siege on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall that left at least 71 people dead.
Kenya sent soldiers into Somalia in 2011 to try to drive out al-Shabaab which it sees as a threat to its own borders and security.