A bomb just went off in town a couple hours ago (apparently at 7 PM? And it’s 9:07 PM right now). It’s not on the news yet and I haven’t heard anything from the U.S. Embassy. I’m alright – although I was at UTC just an hour before, and my friend who was in the same coffee shop heard the explosive and saw people run right after I left. Apparently it was in the nearby business district where there are lots of people and lots of parked buses. I was originally going to walk through there because there are lots of souvenir shops but I decided against it because I didn’t have enough money. I’m still waiting to hear the details … will keep you posted.
People here are surprisingly … chill about it. Aside from the initial text messages and phone calls from friends and even one of my students, there hasn’t been much to-do about this. I was originally going to go out to a soccer game after dinner, but opted to head home. I’m not really sure how to respond to this. Part of me cannot believe A-GRENADE-WENT-OFF-AND-PEOPLE-MIGHT-HAVE-DIED. But another part of me is buying into the nonchalance that seems to be the theme after people confirm that their loved ones are okay.
Obviously it is assumed that this bombing (like the others in preceding months) is political, especially given the timing – just two days after the election, and just hours after election results were announced.
9:15 PM – estimated 20 wounded. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j7JAI8fu6RVmln1_7dFnr4lwG8iQD9HHF25G0
9:20 PM – apparently “just hours after the election commission announced Kagame had won reelection.”
10:00 PM – according to CNN, at least 1 dead and 7 wounded.
10:14 PM – finally received an email from the U.S. Embassy: “The U.S. Embassy in Kigali reports that a grenade attack occurred in the Rubangura area of Kigali at approximately 7:00pm this evening. This location is along one of the roads leading out from the main roundabout near Union Trade Center (UTC) towards the taxi stand in the direction of the commercial district. Injuries have been reported but not confirmed. Until further information becomes available, the Embassy urges U.S. citizens in Rwanda to remain vigilant, exercise caution, and avoid crowds, demonstrations, or any other form of public gathering.”
10:18 PM – Rwanda News Agency “more than two dozen people injured and at least one dead”