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Kenya and Uganda boost security after grenade blast linked to Al Shabab

Kenyan and Ugandan officials have linked the blast to Al Shabab, the Somali militia that took credit for a July suicide bombing that killed 79 at two restaurants in Kampala, Uganda.

Kenyan security forces arrive at the scene after a grenade blast at a bus station in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday, Dec. 20.

Sayyid Azim/AP

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Kenya and Uganda are tightening security at borders, airports, and bus stations after a grenade blast Monday struck a Uganda-bound bus and killed three people at a main bus station in downtown Nairobi.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, but Al Shabab, the Somali insurgent group with ties with Al Qaeda, has carried out attacks on Uganda for its support of the Somali transitional government that Al Shabab militants are fighting.

“We believe there's a connection between the threats we're getting from Al Shabab and other Al Qaeda-affiliated groups and the attack in Nairobi," Uganda's top police officer, Inspector General Kale Kayihura, told reporters Tuesday.

Kenya has been reluctant to send peacekeepers to join the Ugandan-led African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), but it provides strong diplomatic support for the Somali transitional government and it works closely with other East African nations in trying to rein in jihadist Islamic militias, such as Al Shabab.

Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki vowed to arrest anyone associated with the apparent suspect in Monday's blast, named by Kenyan police as Albert Molanda, a Tanzanian national who had carried a Russian-made grenade in his luggage. Mr. Molanda was said by witnesses to have dropped his bag, when he saw that security guards were scanning luggage to be loaded on the bus. The grenade inside the bag then exploded, killing Molanda and two other bystanders.


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