NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – A grenade thrown at worshippers leaving a mosque in a Somali neighborhood in the Kenyan capital killed three people and wounded 15 on Friday evening, the city’s police chief said. The explosion was the second in the same Nairobi neighborhood in three days.
Kenyan media reported that a Muslim member of parliament was among the wounded, but police Chief Moses Ombati did not confirm that.
Kenyan troops moved into Somalia in late 2011, prompting al-Shabab militants in Somalia to vow revenge attacks inside Kenya. And over the past year, Kenya has seen a series of small-scale explosions, many from grenades and other small improvised explosive devices. Al-Shabab sympathizers are suspected in many of the attacks, although authorities have not definitively linked all the attacks to the Islamist group or its sympathizers.
Friday’s targeting of a mosque, however, could suggest a retaliatory attack by a non-Somali Kenyan against the country’s Somali community.
An angry crowd quickly gathered after the 7:30 p.m. explosion in the neighborhood, which is known as Little Mogadishu, only to disperse when police fired shots into the air. Abandoned shoes lay outside the mosque and pools of blood were visible on the mosque’s steps.
A blast Wednesday near a military base in the same neighborhood wounded eight people.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)