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The History of Nairobi Bomb blast of 1998

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There is a spot in Nairobi city’s Central Business District, CBD, which is known as Bomb Blast. This is a spot where the original United States Embassy was located until in 1998 when an unfortunate incident happened that left over 200 people dead with other more than 4000 injured.

It was on 7th August in 1998 at around 10:30 am when a loud blast was heard that would turn out to be a bomb. This happened simultaneously in both Kenya and Tanzania. Suicide bombers who were in trucks loaded with explosives were parked outside US embassies in the two countries. The blast would also happen at the same time in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. This blast left a total of 213 people dead in Kenya while 11 were killed in Tanzania.

This bombing was targeted on the US embassies and citizens as a revenge on their involvement in extradition and torture of four members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad but it is mainly Africans who were casualties. Of the total deaths, only 12 were Americans and the rest Africans. The then leader of Al-Qaeda Osama bin Laden confirmed their involvement in the attacks and even revealed why Nairobi was the target.

He claimed that Nairobi was the largest US army operations center in East Africa and from there is where operations in Somalia were planned by the US and support for former Sudan leader John Garang was coming from. This made Nairobi a very important place for the US in their operations that ‘claimed’ lives over 30,000 Muslims according to Osama.

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