This is Eastleigh’s deadliest street
Part of Eastleigh has been labelled the city’s most dangerous place.
A stretch of just more than one kilometre long has suffered more than a dozen terrorist attacks in one year.
Police and the local administration have singled out the area between 14th Street and 18th Street in Eastleigh Section 3 as the place where most attacks have taken place.
It includes Muratina Road and Madina Mosque where Monday’s terrorist attack killed six people and injured dozens.
Other places branded as terrorism hotspots are 1st Avenue which links Jogoo Road to Juja Road and the Mlango Kubwa slum — two areas that are barely 500 metres from Eastleigh Section 3.
Since December last year, Section 3 and Mlango Kubwa have seen six grenade attacks, leaving dozens dead. On December 15, six people died after a terrorist blew up a matatu he had boarded at Mlango Kubwa.
And only last Sunday, a man was killed in an explosion at the Al Bushraa Islamic area in the same neighbourhood. A day later, six people died in twin explosions near Madina Mosque.
“It is true that attacks are concentrated along 1st Avenue and Section 3,” confirmed city police boss Benson Kibui. “What these attackers do is that they plant IEDs where there is a high concentration of people.”
He added that the area has high concentration of hotels and restaurants where numerous Eastleigh residents go to watch football at night, making them soft targets for terrorists.
His comments came amid claims there could be a group of young people around Joster on 1st Avenue who are aiding terrorism.
“We suspect that there are young people around Joster who are involved in these attacks only that we have not narrowed down to the main culprit,” said a police officer.
Mr Kibui said police would continue with their raids, going from house to house to identify and arrest culprits as well as seek information from the public.
Local leaders attribute the concentration of attacks in the area to the fact that it is largely inhabited by Somali refugees who have been blamed for the influx of small arms into the country through the porous Kenya–Somalia border.
The frequency of the attacks has attracted the attention of President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto who convened a meeting of security officials, the local administration and area leaders to discuss ways of combating the attacks.
Speaking during the meeting, President Kenyatta warned that decisive action would be taken to stem the attacks.
He said the solution to terrorism could not be provided only by the Government because the financiers, inciters, and those who committed terror lived among wananchi.
The police came under focus when the leaders, who included Internal Security Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo, accused local police of visiting Eastleigh to collect bribes instead of tackling terrorism.
This prompted the President to warn that action would be taken against “the fools who take bribes and allow criminals to commit crimes but harass innocent people.”
Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan, who still uses crutches after suffering serious injuries during a grenade attack in the same area in December 2012, called for concerted efforts between the Government and the local community.
“We are Kenyans hence anything happening in this country concerns us.
“We should not ask what is the Government doing about this issue, but rather we should ask what we are doing to support the Government in improving security,” the MP said.
Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji said the reputation of the Kenyan Somali community was at stake and it should take a more active role in combating the problem.