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Suspected bomber killed in Kenya blast: police

  • In this Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008 file photo, an armed police officer walks past burning buildings during post-election rioting in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo, File)

NAIROBI: One person was killed in a bomb blast at a school in the northeastern Kenyan town of Garissa late Saturday, police said, adding they believed the man may have been the bomber himself.

"The body is badly damaged, and we are only able to collect pieces that are strewn all over," regional police chief Charlton Mureithi told reporters.

"We believe this man was trying to assemble it (the bomb) when it went off on him," he said, adding that two pistols, including one stolen from the police, had been found at the scene.

The bomb blast is the latest in a string of attacks in Garissa -- which lies some 120 kilometres (75 miles) from Somalia, where Kenyan troops are fighting Islamist insurgents -- as well as elsewhere in Kenya.

Attacks have increased in Kenya since Nairobi sent soldiers into Somalia to fight Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents in October 2011, prompting warnings of revenge from the extremists.

The violence has been blamed on the insurgents or their Kenyan supporters, although no attacks have been claimed by the Shebab.

The Shebab are on the back foot in southern Somalia after losing a series of key towns to African Union troops -- including the Kenyan army -- as well as allied Somali forces and Ethiopian soldiers.

However, the Shebab continue to stage guerrilla attacks, raising security concerns in Kenya ahead of the March 4 election.

Guns are common in the impoverished northeastern region, which hosts some 500,000 Somali refugees.

 
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