Nairobi nightclub grenade attack injures 12

Will Ross says Kenya's bars have little security so are soft targets

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A grenade attack on a nightclub in the centre of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, has injured 12 people.

The grenade was thrown into the Mwauras club early on Monday morning.

Kenya's police chief said investigations had shown no links with the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

It comes a week after Kenya sent troops to Somalia to track down members of the group, which Nairobi blames for several kidnappings. Al-Shabab threatened reprisals if the troops did not leave.

The al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group, which controls much of southern and central Somalia, has denied carrying out any abductions.

The BBC's Will Ross in Nairobi says last December three people died during a grenade attack at a bus in Nairobi. It was never clear who was behind it.

'Covered in blood'

Kenya's most senior police officer Matthew Iteere told journalists in Nairobi said the grenade attack had no links to al-Shabab - although an investigation into the motive was ongoing.

Police inspect the scene of an explosion inside a club in Kenya's capital Nairobi on 24 October 2011 Witnesses said a man threw a grenade into the club and fled the scene

He said that a Russian-made grenade was used inside the nightclub.

A local news station, Capital News Radio, quoted a witness as saying a man had asked to be let in to the Mwauras bar in central Nairobi shortly after 03:00 (0000 GMT). He then hurled a grenade and fled the scene, said the witness.

Lawrence Kioko, who was injured in the attack, told Reuters news agency: "I heard an explosion - there was darkness and I thought the electricity had gone out but when I touched my face, there was blood."

Video footage showed blood and beer bottles on the floor of the nightclub - upturned seats and debris littered the floor.

"The guys came out running covered in blood. We helped them wash the blood off and they were carried away in ambulances," Jacob Musembi, an eyewitness, told Reuters.

Police cordoned off the area. No group has so far admitted carrying out the attack.

Last week, Kenya announced it would carry out a major security operation in Nairobi to flush out al-Shabab sympathisers once its Somalia operation had ended.

The US embassy in Nairobi warned on Saturday of an "imminent threat" of attacks in Kenya.

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