An explosion ripped through a building full of small shops in downtown Nairobi today, injuring at least 33 people, including a woman who blamed the blast on a "bearded man" who left behind a bag shortly before the detonation. Police officials first indicated the explosion could have been caused by some sort of electrical malfunction but the prime minister said it was deliberate. Al-Shabab—an Islamist militant group from Somalia—has threatened to carry out such an attack.
Al-Shabab's threat to carry out large-scale attacks here followed Kenya's decision last October to send troops into Somalia to pursue the Islamist militants. Kenya said back then that it was sending in the troops as a response to kidnappings on Kenyan soil last year blamed on al-Shabab. The kidnappings caused tourism in Kenya to plummet, especially around the coastal resort of Lamu. Since October, a series of grenade attacks has rocked Kenya.