Hundreds of British tourists were evacuated from a Kenyan coastal area after two bomb explosions in the nation’s capital on Friday.
The detonations occurred in a market near downtown Nairobi, killing 10 people and wounding 70. A minivan used for public transportation was also damaged by one of two improvised explosive devices.
British citizens were urged by their government to leave Mombasa and nearby beach towns where Islamic extremists have operated.
In response to recent threat information regarding the international community in Kenya, the U.S. and several other nations have renewed warnings of possible terror attacks.
"We know from experience whether it's been in Yemen where embassies have been attacked or in Benghazi where our consulate and ambassador was attacked, anything that is a symbol of a foreign country is a potential target," Scott Gration, a former U.S. ambassador based in Kenya, told AP.
The East African country’s proximity to Somalia and al-Shaba have raised security concerns, given that members of the al-Qaida linked group killed at least 67 people in an upscale mall in Nairobi last September.
Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta offered his condolences about the Nairobi explosions at a news conference, but also reportedly said that the U.S. and U.K. travel warnings would only strengthen the will of terrorists. He also noted that cities like New York and Boston also faced common terrorism problems.
Gration echoed President Kenyatta’s dismissal.
"My belief is that everywhere there are issues and we all need to be prudent in when we go and where we go," Gration said. "So I don't travel at night, avoid big crowds and lock my doors. Whether you are in Newark, New Jersey or Nairobi, Kenya, we can all fall victim to crime or terrorism.”
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(Photo: AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)