Kenyan Town Near Somali Border Hit by Blast After Fire at Market

An explosion rocked a market in the northeastern Kenyan town of Wajir near the border with Somalia, a district official said.

The “very large” blast occurred today after waste at a dump site in the market caught fire, District Officer John Kihara said in a phone interview from the town, 500 kilometers (311 miles) northeast of Nairobi, the capital. Five women were treated for shock at the scene, Halima Hassan, a trader at the market, said in a separate phone interview.

Police are investigating the explosion, which may have been caused by a device left by people planning to target Kenyan army troops traveling between a base in the town and the Somali border, Kihara said.

Kenya’s military entered southern Somalia in October to drive out al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-linked militant group that has waged a five-year insurgency against the country’s United Nations-backed transitional government.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Richardson in Nairobi at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at

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