August 7 bomb blast: Hundreds mark 20-year anniversary


Rescuers help move survivors from the explosion site in Nairobi on August 7, 1998. Photo/CNN FILE
Rescuers help move survivors from the explosion site in Nairobi on August 7, 1998. Photo/CNN FILE

In Summary

  • U.S. Ambassador Robert F. Godec lauded Kenyans for their heroic acts of compassion displayed when the August bomb blast occurred.
  • The two envoys later laid wreaths in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the August bomb blast.
  • A short documentary was also featured at the memorial to showcase the journey of survivors towards recovery.

Survivors of the August 7 bomb blast in 1998 and families of those who perished in the terrorist attack convened at the Memorial Park in Nairobi on Tuesday.

Twenty years ago, the violent incident claimed the lives of over 200 people and left thousands maimed.

Two American Embassies; in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, were destroyed with Osama Bin Laden, who at the time headed Al-Qaeda terrorist group, taking responsibility for the attack.

On Tuesday, Ambassador Martin Kimani, Director of Kenya’s National Counter Terrorism Centre, said despite the devastating effects of the attack, the relationship between the countries remains strong.

“Twenty tears later, Kenyans are proud to be fighting against terrorism alongside our allies and friends for the safety of our families, our communities and our country,” Amb. Kimani said.

According to him, the unity between the countries has seen a reduction in the number and severity of terrorist attacks in the region.

“Going forward, we must continue limiting the ability of terrorists to carry out large scale attacks and control territories,” he added.

Amb. Kimani further noted that efforts to combat terrorism in the East African region have also seen a reduction in the number of people recruited to join extremist groups.

“These combined actions will dry out the pockets of desperation that have offered terrorist groups rich recruiting opportunities as local grievances are grafted into their global ideologies,” the envoy added.

On his part, U.S. Ambassador Robert F. Godec lauded Kenyans for their heroic acts of compassion displayed when the August 7 bomb blast occurred.

“The terrorists sought to sow fear and division but failed. Instead we have risen with an even stronger determination to stand together for freedom, for justice and for peace,” Amb. Godec said.

The two envoys later laid wreaths in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the August 7 bomb blast.

A short documentary was also featured at the memorial to showcase the journey of survivors towards recovery.

In the documentary, victims narrate the events of the fateful day and how it changed their lives forever.

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Story By Hilda Mbogo
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