Sixteen injured as grenade attacks hit Kigali

Sixteen people were injured in two simultaneous grenade attacks in Kigali last night at around 7pm. The attacks happened in Kimironko, close to the taxi rank, and in Kinamba, near the Gisozi Genocide memorial. The bombings occur less than one month after similar attacks in central Kigali. Only on Wednesday, President Paul Kagame blamed the earlier attacks on former chief of staff, Lieutenant-General Kayumba Nyamwasa, who has fled to South Africa,

“They cannot … destabilize the solid foundation we have already built of security and stability for our citizens,” Kagame told reporters. “We have all it takes to prevent and act on any dangers to our country.” link

“Nobody, absolutely nobody, not even Kayumba, can carry out a coup here. Think about it and you’ll come to the conclusion no one can carry out a coup” in Rwanda, the President said. “People can only dream about it, wish for it; I believe what I’m telling you,” Kagame said. link via postcardjunky

“We are still investigating to know if they are coordinated or not and who are the real attackers. We are yet to know if it was the same (people),” police spokesman Eric Kayiranga told Reuters by telephone. link

The New Times quotes the Secretary General of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), François Ngarambe, as saying he has the right to summon officials,

“Why should he question my asking him to give a report to RPF on duties he was assigned to by the nation? His assignment as Rwanda’s Ambassador to India was political and not military,” Ngarambe told a press conference at his offices. “But you know, some people seeking refuge sometimes tend to concoct sensational reasons”. link

In addition, there was also a third unrelated, reportedly accidental, explosion in Gisenyi in the north-west of Rwanda last night in which one person died.

Much like February’s grenade attacks, I first learned about last night’s events on Twitter. The number of Twitter users is relatively small in Rwanda, but it is well worth keeping an eye on when breaking news happens in Kigali. You can follow me on @kigaliwire. If you are in Rwanda and you use Twitter, let me know and I’ll add you to the Rwanda Twitter list.

UPDATE: The BBC’s Geoffrey Mutagoma in Kigali has more on the attacks. Listen below,

UPDATE: The journalist Deo Mushayidi is arrested in connection with the grenade attacks,

“Deo Mushayidi, one of the main perpetrators of these acts, was arrested in Burundi and is currently in the hands of the police,” [Rwanda’s Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga] said, reading from a prepared statement. No questions were allowed after his brief statement. He claimed Mushayidi, previously believed to be in Belgium, has been shuttling between various countries in the region and security forces have been monitoring his movements. link

The This Is Africa blog adds a bit of background to the arrest. Meanwhile, Texas in Africa has an excellent summary of some of the key theories behind the grenade attacks.

One additional theory that is doing the rounds in Kigali suggests Nkunda sympathisers could be behind the grenade attacks. While conspiracy theories abound, hard facts have yet to emerge.

Photo taken from the Kigali Wire Flickr account.