Two separate attacks wound five in north east Kenya

ISIOLO, Kenya Sat May 26, 2012 4:06pm EDT

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ISIOLO, Kenya (Reuters) - Suspected grenade attacks at a hotel and a refugee camp in northeastern Kenya wounded at least five people on Saturday, police said, days after a similar strike in the same region.

Grenade and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in Kenya have become more frequent since it sent troops to Somalia to pursue al Shabaab insurgents it blames for a wave of kidnappings last year.

Police said four builders at a primary school in the Ifo refugee camp in Garissa, and one person at a hotel in Wajir were wounded in the attacks.

"Four people have been injured in the Ifo attack. They are all casual laborers working at a primary school doing construction," said Leo Nyongesa, North Eastern police commander, told Reuters.

Nyongesa said that a second blast at a hotel in Wajir, popular with government officials, had wounded one person.

Nairobi blames al Shabaab militants for the kidnappings of foreigners on Kenyan soil that had threatened the country's multi-million dollar tourism industry.

The militants have threatened major reprisals if Kenyan troops do not withdraw and have launched large-scale suicide bombings in the past.

The hotel in Wajir is on a road leading to a military camp, and is close to a government club that was also attacked last year, while the Ifo refugee camp attack was at a temporary shelter for casual workers.

"I had a loud explosion, went out and saw police and security vehicles rushing towards ... somewhere around the military camp," said Ahmed Sheikh, a Wajir resident.

On Thursday, at least three people were wounded in a suspected grenade attack at a hotel in the Dadaab refugee camp, while earlier in the week, two soldiers were wounded when their vehicle hit an IED in Mandera, also in the north east.

On May 16 a suspected remote-controlled bomb went off in Dadaab, killing one police officer and wounding three.

On the same day, gunmen set off grenades outside a night club in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa, killing one person and wounding several others.

(Additional reporting by Humphrey Malalo in Nairobi; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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