The Latema Explosion happened outside Smoothers Restaurant, near Odeon Cinema in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) at the Latema Road – Tom Mboya Avenue Junction. 

What happened is that an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was detonated by a suspected terrorist near Odeon, slightly injuring two people.

It was a relatively small blast and people from the scene say that the media may have exaggerated it. People who on the ground shared their thoughts on how Media handled it all as you will see after watching the video below.

How did the Latema Explosion happen?

A Relatively Small Blast Exaggerated by the Media…

Is Kenyan media unknowingly aiding the terrorists in their agenda. I was at Odeon when it happened. It was just a small issue until the media showed up 1hr after the incident and pretended it has just happened. Now the whole country is panicked. latema

Mukabi (The Moran) @kabbz
Mukabi (The Moran) @kabbz

True.there was an explosion but not as big as purported by the media.mere exaggeration.was at kasarani mwiki (link: http://stage.it) stage.it wasn’t that much of a big deal though I don’t wanna mean it should be overlooked

Erick Gitobu @Erigits_strong Replying to @kabbz
Erick Gitobu @Erigits_strong Replying to @kabbz

An Account of the Latema Explosion by Nairobi Regional Police Commander, Philip Ndolo:

According to the Nairobi Regional Police Commander, Philip Ndolo, What happened is that a man of Somali descent hired a trolley pusher, whose name is Joseph Okinyi, to move a carton box from Latema Road to Kenya Cinema.

The devise inside the box is suspected to have been an Improvised Explosive Device. Once they got outside Smoothers Restaurant, near Odeon Cinema at the Latema Road – Tom Mboya Avenue Junction, the Somai gentleman pretended to have left his ID and requested Joseph Okinyi to wait as he rushes back to get it. As he waited, that’s when the box exploded.

The package containing the explosives was supposed to be transported towards Kenya Cinema. The owner of the package then pretended to have left his ID at an M-Pesa shop, a while later the package which contained the IED exploded.

An Image of Odeon Cinema - Nairobi's CBD near Latema Road where the Explosion happened
An Image of Odeon Cinema – Nairobi’s CBD near Latema Road where the Explosion happened

Before you continue reading this, I highly recommend this article about How Kenya has Failed her Youth written by Boniface Mwangi.

It is an honest, emotional and critical perspective on the current state of Kenya in relation to Radicalisation of Youth and Terrorism. Click here to open the article in a new tab.

Latema Explosion Casualties:

Two people were injured. The trolley Pusher, Joseph Okinyi sustained some slight injuries on his right hand while a nearby newspaper vendor got some slight injuries on his leg and were rushed to hospital.

Please avoid the area and move to safe location while monitoring media for further details and instructions from authorities.

Response of Anti terror police units to the Latema Explosion:

Anti terror police units are already on the scene of the explosion combing the area for other possible explosives.

Speaking to the media, Philip Ndolo, who is also the Nairobi Regional Police commander said that there were no fatalities and investigations on-going.null

Two Explosions in One Month: What is the state of Security in Kenya?

This comes days after a terrorist attack at an upscale hotel in Westlands, the Dusit D2 Hotel.

The coordinated attack left 21 people dead and many others nursing injuries. Police have advised Kenyans to stay vigilant.

Today, January 27 is the Anniversary of the Al-Shabab Kulbiyow Attack in Somali

Today, January 27 is also the anniversary of the Kulbiyow Attack that happened on 27th Jan 2017.

The Islamic militant group, Al-shabab says it killed at least 57 soldiers in the takeover of peacekeeping base in Kulbiyow, Somalia.

Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told the Reuters news agency at that time that the group was still pursuing “the Kenyan soldiers who ran away into the woods” after the attack.

He described how two fighters had driven suicide car bombs into the Kulbiyow base before others stormed it, killing the soldiers and seizing vehicles and weapons. “We have taken over the base,” he said.

Kenyan military officials dismissed the claims as “completely false”. The Guardian reported.

Kenyan soldiers in Somalia. Kenya said a ‘pacification operation’ was under way after the attack. Photograph- Ben Curtis:AP
Kenyan soldiers in Somalia. Kenya said a ‘pacification operation’ was under way after the attack. Photograph- Ben Curtis:AP

3 things to do during security threats or Terror Attacks: Run, Hide, Tell…

Please stay keen, keep your eyes open and avoid crowded areas like malls, hotels and bus stages. In case you are in a the vicinity of a terror attack: Run, Hide, Tell…

Run as far as you can from the danger zone, If you are nit in a position to run, hide and inform authorities immediately. Read this article about how to respond to a terror attack.

Robert Mũnũku, a member of our online forum asked: Do you believe the state of security in our country [Kenya] is satisfactory?

Do you believe the state of security in our country [Kenya] is satisfactory?

During the times that travel to other countries I notice many things; one of the small things I notice is that, in most of these countries, there are no security guards with metal detectors at the entrance of public spaces.

Many of these are ‘developed’/’1st-world countries’ yet they do not have this function that seems to be in every store, mall and public building in Kenya’s capital. Do you think our security system works? I tend to believe it doesn’t and can be made better.

We need to create a nationwide intuitive security infrastructure, one which would [say] pick out the criminal carrying an explosive device way before he assembles it as opposed to having him eventually checked at the door by a guard with zero combat training. The latter being a thing that close to never happens.

Criminologists, IT experts, and security specialists, where at thou? Talk to me.

What are your thoughts?

Robert Munuku

What are your thoughts?

Do you believe the state of security in our country [Kenya] is satisfactory? Click here to see peoples feedback on this question.

Do you believe the state of security in our country is satisfactory? If not, what can be done to improve it? Click To Tweet
Latema Explosion - Casualties of the Latema Explosion being rushed to hospital
Latema Explosion – Casualties of the Latema Explosion being rushed to hospital

Earlier Security Alert by the US Embassy in Kenya:

Earlier in the day, the United States Embassy in Kenya posted a Security Alert via their Twitter handle.

They urged people to Exercise Sustained Vigilance by reminded the public of the continued need for the sustained vigilance in public spaces such as shopping malls, hotels, and places of worship.

The US Embassy posted a Security Alert with more details as follows:

A Tweet shared Earlier Security Alert by the US Embassy in Kenya:
A Tweet shared Earlier Security Alert by the US Embassy in Kenya:

Security Alert – U.S. Embassy Nairobi (January 24, 2019)

Location:  Kenya, countrywide

Event:  The U.S. Embassy reminds the public of the continued need for sustained vigilance in public spaces such as shopping malls, hotels, and places of worship.

Actions to Take:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists/Westerners
  • Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible
  • Review your personal security plans
Question about the State of Security in Kenya by Robert Mũnũku

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya

+254 (0) 20 363 6451
+254 (0) 20 363 6170 (after hours)
[email protected]

State Department – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Kenya Country Information

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

Can the US Embassy in Kenya and Police Forces collaborate to fight insecurity like the Latema Explosion?

The U.S. Embassy in Kenya opened in 1964. Sixteen Ambassadors since then, the Embassy has enriched the ties between the American and Kenyan people and served the needs of Americans in and around this East African hub.

Chief among the U.S. Mission’s goals are fostering the development of a sound Kenyan economy, strengthening the institutions of Kenyan democracy, helping to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, and promoting U.S./Kenyan business ties.

Terrorism in Kenya – The Power of a Traumatised Country

Here’s another article about Terrorism in Kenya – The Power of a Traumatised Country written by Onyango Otieno. It explores sensitive issues like how the Post-Election Violence has claimed more lives than any terrorist Attack in Kenya.

Onyango asks: “Could we have Masked the actual face of Terrorism in Kenya?”. Inspired by the recent Riverside Attacks and tweets like this one by Ramapithecus @RamzZy_: Al Shabaab gives the youth something to die for in areas where the govt gives the youth nothing to live for.  Click here to open the article in a new tab.

Kisasi – A Short Film about Terrorism & Youth Radicalisation in Kenya (Short Film)

A father desperate for justice of his 6months old son’s murder. Lack of justice renders him vulnerable to anything and anyone, all he can count on is the course.

Kisasi serves a revelation of who really can be of use to terrorist groups and how to notice when they have been radicalized. STARRING Makrin Andala,Dan Nsubuga, Adelyne Nimo, Pauline Munini.

Writer-director-editor: Paul Ogola
Executive Producer: Galaxy Players
DOP: Felix Odongo
Sound: Kevin Machimbo
Assistant Director: Pascal Omondi
Music: Sarabi Band
Subtitles: English
Running time: 20 minutes

I have just watched Kisasi – A Short Film about Terrorism & Youth Radicalisation in Kenya. I recommend you to watch it too now. #WeHaveOvercome #KenyaUnbowed Click To Tweet
Latema Explosion - Image of People along latema Road after the explosion
Latema Explosion – Image of People along latema Road after the explosion