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Explosion Near Cinema Hits Weeks After Deadly Kenya Attack

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — An explosive device went off outside a cinema in a busy part of Kenya’s capital Saturday and injured two people, police said.

One of those injured in the explosion in Nairobi was a handcart pusher who received a small piece of luggage from an individual who later fled. The other was a newspaper vendor, said Philip Ndolo, police commander in charge of Nairobi.

Kenya Explosion

A man with minor injuries is taken away by paramedics from the scene of a small blast in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. An explosive device went off after a handcart pusher was given a small piece of luggage by an unknown person outside a cinema in a busy part of the capital Saturday night, injuring one person, a police officer said. (AP Photo/John Muchucha)

A manhunt was underway for the unidentified person reported to have deposited the luggage in a cart, Ndolo said.

Detectives think the luggage contained an improvised explosive device that went off, a police officer at the scene told The Associated Press.

The officer spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The Kenya Red Cross said it sent emergency teams to the scene, which was sealed off by law enforcement officers.

The explosion happened two days after the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi issued a security alert reminding the public about “the continued need for sustained vigilance in public spaces such as shopping malls, hotels, and places of worship.”

Kenya is recovering from a Jan. 15 attacks in which gunmen stormed a hotel complex and killed 21 people.

The Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which is based in neighboring Somalia, claimed responsibility for the attack on the DusitD2 hotel and shopping complex.

Al-Shabab, which has ties with al-Qaida, has often targeted Kenya in retaliation over Kenya’s military involvement in Somalia.

Al-Shabab also carried out the 2013 attack at Nairobi’s nearby Westgate Mall that killed 67 people, and an assault on Kenya’s Garissa University in 2015 that claimed 147 lives, mostly students.

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