Blast reported in Kenya`s large refugee camp

A blast went off along a road in the world`s largest refugee camp in eastern Kenya near the border with Somalia.

Last Updated: Nov 05, 2011, 21:57 PM IST

Nairobi: A blast went off on Saturday along a road
in the world`s largest refugee camp in eastern Kenya near the
border with Somalia, but no one was injured, officials said.

The explosion appeared to be minor and one of the
officials said if it turns out to be an explosive device
planted by insurgents it may have been improperly wired. The
two officials spoke on condition they weren`t identified.

Somali insurgents have laid land mines along the Kenyan
border previously, but there has never been such an incident
in the refugee camp, Dadaab, before. Dadaab houses nearly
500,000 refugees, mostly Somalis, tens of thousands of whom
have arrived in recent months because of Somalia`s famine.

The latest explosion will add to the security concerns of
aid groups operating in Dadaab. Last month two international
staff were kidnapped from Dadaab by Somali gunmen.

Also today, a military official said the tempo of Kenya`s
military pursuit of al Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia has
been slowed by the needs of hunger-stricken Somalis.

Col Cyrus Oguna said that the Kenyan army is assisting
desperate Somalis who need food and medicine in areas the
Islamist group al-Shabab occupied but withdrew from as Kenya
forces marched into Somalia in mid-October.

"You cannot move when the people you want to assist have
problems," he said. "We need their support."

The UN says hundreds of thousands of Somalis could die
because of the region`s famine, which has hit hardest in areas
that al-Shabab controls. Oguna said the humanitarian agencies
that were blocked by al-Shabab from supplying relief to famine
stricken Somalis can now deliver the aid because the area is
secure.

PTI