Grenade blasts kill one, injure 16 in Rwanda: police

Fri Mar 5, 2010 10:53am GMT

By Hereward Holland

KIGALI (Reuters) - Two synchronised grenade blasts injured 16 people in the Rwandan capital, and a third unrelated explosion killed one person in the west of the country, police said on Friday.

The explosions in Kigali happened within 10 minutes of each other in early evening on Thursday, a day after President Paul Kagame sought to quell fears of instability in the central African country, which has tight security after a genocide 16 years ago.

They took place a fortnight after two people died in a similar attack.

"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.

The third grenade exploded in western Rwanda near the resort town of Gisenyi on Thursday evening and killed one person, but police said it was an accident and unrelated to events in Kigali.

Authorities blamed the previous attacks on former army chief Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, who last week resigned as Rwanda's ambassador to India and fled into exile in South Africa. He denies the allegations.

The grenade attacks may tarnish Rwanda's stable and secure image, which has made it a popular destination for highland gorilla tracking in recent years and made its tourism sector the largest foreign exchange earner.

Kagame, a former rebel leader who fought alongside Kayumba to end the genocide in 1994, is widely expected to secure a second seven-year term in a presidential election scheduled for August.   Continued...

<p>Rwanda's President Paul Kagame accepts one of the Clinton Global Citizen Awards at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York September 24, 2009. REUTERS/Chip East</p>
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