U.S. Warns of Possible Attack on Buildings in Kenyan Capital

The U.S. Embassy in Kenya said it received “credible” information about a possible attack on hotels and government buildings in the East African country’s capital, Nairobi.

While the “timing of the attack is not known,” the Nairobi-based embassy said in an e-mailed statement today, “the embassy has reason to believe that the potential attack is in the last stages of planning.” It urged Americans in Kenya to remain “vigilant” about their personal security.

Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militia threatened to carry out attacks in Kenya after the country deployed its army in southern Somalia in mid-October to fight the militants. The rebel group has waged a campaign since 2007 to topple Somalia’s United Nations-backed government and establish an Islamic state.

Two weeks after the Kenyan incursion began, one person died and at least 20 were injured in two separate bomb blasts in Nairobi that the government said were inspired by al-Shabaab.

At least six people died and 68 were injured on March 10 when hand grenades were thrown from a moving car at people waiting at a bus station on the outskirts of Nairobi. Al-Shabaab denied responsibility for the attack.

The U.K. government in January updated its travel advice for Kenya and advised its nationals to exercise “extra vigilance and caution in public places.” Any attack may be indiscriminate and target Kenyan institutions as well as places where expatriates and foreign travellers gather, the Foreign Office said.

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