Kenya: Grenade attack on Mombasa tourist nightclub leaves 10 injured

Area police chief says 'it cannot be anything else but a terrorist attack'

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The Independent Online

A grenade attack on a nightclub outside the coastal Kenyan city of Mombasa has injured at least 10 people, police said.

The incident occurred at 3.30 am (00.30 GMT) at a popular tourist nightclub in Diani some 25 km outside Mombasa, according to authorities.

Kwale County Commissioner Evans Achoki said the attackers hurled a grenade toward customers at the Tandoori bar. The attackers then fled before police arrived and the injured were taken to hospital.

At least one of the victims was seriously wounded and had undergone surgery.

Jack Ekakuro, Kwale area police chief told journalists gathered at the scene that the club was busy with New Year revellers at the time of the attack. He said: "Three people appeared from the other side of the road and threw a grenade at the night club which exploded injuring 10 people. The attackers escaped on a motor bike."

He added: “It cannot be anything else but a terrorist attack. A grenade is a not a maize cob that any village boy can handle and throw around at will.”

Ekakuro did not state who was responsible for the attack, but the government has in the past put the blame on Somalia's al-Qa'ida-linked al-Shabaab insurgents, who have demanded the withdrawal of Kenyan troops who have joined African peacekeepers fighting the group in Somalia.

Kenya's coast is a popular tourist destination but has been plagued by attacks blamed on Islamist militants and their sympathisers.

In September, al-Shabaab gunmen attacked a attacked a Nairobi shopping mall, killing at least 67 civilians in the country's worst incident since the 1998 bombing of the US embassy that killed more than 200 people.

Additional reporting by Reuters