Kenya blasts kill at least 13 people as tourists fly home early after Foreign Office warning

The Kenyan National Disaster Operation centre tweeted that there had been two explosions in Nairobi

Thirteen people have been killed in bomb blasts in the Kenyan capital Nairobi as British holidaymakers were being flown home early from the East African country's other main town Mombasa.

The Kenyan National Disaster Operation centre tweeted that there had been two explosions in Nairobi - the gateway to the country's main safari parks.

One of the blasts was reported to be on a 14-seat matatu tour bus. Both explosions were in the Gikombna Market area of the city. A number of people were injured.

The blasts - around 1pm UK time - follow terrorist attacks earlier this month in and around the coastal town of Mombasa.

These incidents prompted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to amend its Kenya travel advice. The new advice warned against all but essential travel to parts of Mombasa.

This, in turn, led to some UK tour operators cancelling Kenya holidays, with around 500 British tourists being flown home yesterday and today from Mombasa.

The first plane carrying Thomson and First Choice holiday company tourists arrived early today at Gatwick airport.

A second plane is due back from Mombasa tonight, with Thomson and First Choice cancelling all flights to Kenya until the end of October.

Two clients with long-haul travel company Kuoni are also being flown home today, with the company not offering any more holidays to the Kenyan coast for the time being.

Thomson and First Choice have cancelled all flights to and from Kenya until the end of October.

UK travel organisation Abta said: "We estimated that around 500 British tourists were travelling with tour operators in resorts at the time of the change of (FCO) advice.

"These customers have been safely repatriated out of these areas. Anyone still travelling in the affected areas should make contact with their travel provider. (The) Diani (area) remains unaffected by the change to advice. Flights into Nairobi also remain unaffected."

An Abta spokeswoman said: "Alternative destinations or full refunds will be offered to consumers travelling on package holidays to affected areas for as long as the advice remains in place.

"If customers are due to travel to the areas impacted, they should contact their tour operator, who will advise them about the status of their booking."

Holidaymaker Alex Dolphin, from Surrey, arrived back at Gatwick, having spent three days at a resort on Diani Beach.

He told the BBC: "I didn't feel uneasy until we were in a convoy of three coaches parked on the roadside waiting to leave for the airport.

"I was keeping an eye open as we drove through Mombasa."

Other holidaymakers had mixed views about the way the whole situation had been handled. One man told the BBC it had been "a shambles" but other returning holidaymakers said tour companies were "very professional" and had "done the right thing".

Associated Press

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