News24

1 wounded in Kenyan bomb blast

2012-12-14 15:04

Dadaab - Insurgents in Kenya's giant Dadaab refugee camp set off a bomb at a centre registering voters for Kenya's March 2013 elections, an AFP reporter and Kenya's Red Cross said Friday.

The blast, in the world's largest refugee camp complex of Dadaab in the remote northeast bordering Somalia, home to over 468 000 Somali refugees, injured one person, Kenya Red Cross officials said.

Kenya has suffered a string of attacks in recent months - including grenade and bomb explosions - but this is the first attack on an election centre.

The attacks are regularly blamed on members or sympathisers of Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab fighters, although they have made no claim to the series of blasts, which escalated after Kenyan troops invaded Somalia last year.

Police have since launched a tough crackdown focussing largely on refugees, including mass arrests sweeping up young men of Somali origin suspected of being connected to the attackers.

Earlier this week Kenyan officials ordered all refugees to return to remote refugee camps, including over 33 000 Somali refugees living in the capital Nairobi.

However, more than 2.3 million Kenyans are ethnic Somalis, some six percent of the population. Their traditional homelands make up around a fifth of the country, and many live around the Dadaab region.

Tensions are already high across the country ahead of elections due in March, five years after deadly post-poll killings that shattered Kenya's image as a beacon of regional stability.

The heavy handed police crackdown risks alienating Kenya's ethnic Somali community, adding to existing areas of concern ahead of the elections, including a coastal separatist movement, militant Islamists and tensions between ethnic groups.

Voter registration closes on Tuesday evening.

Comments
  • mmoledis - 2012-12-14 20:14

    Kenyans should unite and fight the enermy within their country, government should step up security in all congested palces because those are areas where criminals will target and government instalations, fighting Somali militants in their country Somalia is the thing that has invited such crimes and attacks in Kenya so its security should be properly trainde and equipt in order to can match those militants by detecting their actions while still early and too open a special court to try those who are arrested in such actions in order to detter them more to stop threatening the sovereignty of Kenya and its citizens.

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