Ten dead in Nairobi market blast - CNBC Africa

Ten dead in Nairobi market blast

East Africa

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Ten reported dead when two explosions rocked a market in Nairobi. PHOTO: Getty Images

The explosions went off at Gikomba market in Nairobi.

The blasts are said to be as a result of grenades which went off in the country’s largest second-hand market and a public service vehicle.

The first blast went off in a 14-seater public service vehicle near the market. The second explosion occurred inside the market, also frequented by traders from other East African countries.

The attack comes two weeks after another twin blast on one of Kenya’s busiest highway, which left three dead.  

(READ MORE: Three killed in bus blasts on second day of violence in Kenya)

President Uhuru Kenyatta sent a condolence message to the families of the dead and quick recovery to the injured.

“The security operation that we began over a month ago will continue, as we look to isolate the extremists and those who aid them. The operation has already removed thousands of illegal immigrants, and severely disrupted the networks of information and money which support radicalisation and violence,” Kenyatta said earlier in a press conference at the State House, Nairobi.


Two suspects have been arrested in connection to the blasts, according to Benson Kibuye, police commandant in Nairobi. One suspect is under watch at the national hospital and another is in custody at a police station.

Kibuye also added that the suspect in hospital has multiple injuries. According to the police, both suspects were captured by members of the public.


Since 2012, Kenya has seen an increase in terrorist attacks in various cities.

The main threat is from extremists linked to Al-Shabaab, a militant group in Somalia due to its military intervention in the war-torn country. Al-Shabaab – an Islamist group linked to al-Qaeda - has issued public threats against Kenya on several occasions.

The attack comes days after four governments - United Kingdom, United States, France and Australia issued travel advisories to Kenya.

The United Kingdom and United States are a major source market for Kenyan tourists. As a result of the advisory, hundreds of British tourists have been evacuated on chartered flights from the coastal region since Thursday.

The US embassy sent an emergency message to its citizens residing in the East African nation to avoid the area where the explosion occurred.

Ignatius Chicha, Head of Markets, Citibank, told CNBC Africa on phone that the shilling might weaken past its 87.50 support level, adding that tourism arrivals, a key source of hard currency have been cut by frequent gun and grenade attacks after Kenya intervened in neighboring Somalia.

(READ MORE: FCO warns people not to travel to Kenya's Mombasa)

In the recent wake of high insecurity linked to terror attacks, at least 700 tourists are said to have been evacuated on Friday in the Coastal region.


However, the Kenya Tourism Federation has expressed their displeasure with foreign governments and want their travel advisory reversed. 

“We are greatly disappointed in the lackluster reaction and sometimes inaction by government officials who should be handling this and reassuring citizens, investors and our tourist source market,” Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers CEO, Mike Macharia told the media.

(READ MORE: Kenya angry at western travel warnings as tourists leave)

The federation demanded that the Kenyan government give tourism the importance it deserves, as the sector is the second highest foreign exchange earner and it accounted for 12.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.