Blast near cinema in downtown Nairobi injures two: police

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NAIROBI (Reuters) - A blast near a cinema in the centre of Kenya’s capital injured two people on Saturday and police said they suspected it was a homemade bomb. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The incident comes less than two weeks after Islamist militants stormed an upscale hotel in Nairobi, killing 21. That attack was claimed by al Shabaab, a Somali militant group behind a series of attacks in Kenya in recent years.

“We are suspecting an improvised explosive device,” Nairobi police commander Philip Ndolo told reporters about Saturday’s blast.

A man of Somali appearance had hired a porter to push some luggage at about 7 p.m. (1600 GMT) before leaving the porter at a busy junction saying he had to find his identity card, Ndolo said, adding that the luggage then exploded, injuring the porter and a nearby newspaper vendor.

A Reuters reporter at the scene said there did not appear to be any major damage to surrounding shops. Police has set up a security cordon in the area.

“It was a very big sharp explosion that made everyone run away,” said security guard Appolonary Odero, who was in the area.

Additional reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Edmund Blair