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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Africa's sorrow over US terror attacks
American bomb wreckage
The morning-after wreckage at the World Trade Center
The leaders of a number of African nations have expressed their sympathy with the victims of the US attacks but some militant Muslim groups have been celebrating.

In Kenyan where the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi left more than 200 dead, the news has been greeted with shock.


Maybe the Americans will now get a taste of what we went through

Consolata Wanjiru Mugo, Kenya bomb survivor
Kenya's President Daniel arap Moi condemned what he called "this heinous and evil apparently co-ordinated act of terrorism"

He said that terrorism can never be the basis for the solution of any conflict.

A correspondent for the BBC in Kenya, Kariuku Mureithi says security forces have been placed on high alert.

Heavily armed

He says heavily armed paramilitary troops have been posted to oil refineries, power plants and defence headquarters and police stations.

Service at the normally bustling Jomo Kenyetta International Airport, he says, "has been paralysed. Most flights have been indefinitely suspended".

Kenyan at bomb memorial service
A kenyan prays at the scene of bomb blast three years ago

Our correspondent says as the news of the devastation unfolded, Kenyans, reminded of the horror they suffered three years ago, scrambled around radio sets and televisions for the latest news.

But some Kenyans who feel that the US should pay compensation for the injuries they suffered will closely watch how US victims are treated.

'Innocent people'

"Maybe the Americans will now get a taste of what we went through," said Consolata Wanjiru Mugo, who was injured in the Kenyan blast.

"They will feel what it was like as innocent people to be attacked in this way", she added.

Osama Bin Laden
Bin Laden remains a suspect

Douglas Sidiallo, who lost his sight in the Nairobi attack, told BBC News Online that the US victims should stick together in order to get through these troubled times.

"Only through togetherness, as a strong, united family can they move on," he said.

In Tanzania, where 12 people died following an attack on the US embassy just minutes after the Nairobi attack, security has been stepped up.

Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete said: "Having suffered terrorist attacks ourselves, we feel and understand what the Americans must be experiencing".

Emergency aid

The President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak has sent his condolences to the American people calling the attacks horrific and unimaginable.

An Egyptian man, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, has been convicted in a US court of involvement in the East African attacks.

President Daniel arap Moi of Kenya
Moi amongst those expressing deep sorrow

It is believed that he is close to the Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden who some suspect of orchestrating the attacks both in Africa and US. He has denied the claims.

The leader of Libya, Colonel Moamer Gaddafi said his country was ready to send aid to the American people.

In Sudan, once a target for a US missile attack, the Islamist government offered its condolences.

But anti American sentiments run high in Sudan. The BBC's Alfred Taban in Khartoum says some watching the news on television shouted, "Allahu akbar" (God is great), in sympathy with the attackers.

Celebrating

Governments in Ghana, Senegal, Sierra Leone and The Gambia have also expressed their condolences.


We feel and understand what the Americans must be experiencing

Tanzania Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete

However some Muslim groups in northern Nigeria have been celebrating.

The BBC's Ibrahim Dosara in Zamfara says that groups opposed to the US policy in the Middle East say it is now paying the consequences.

Our Zamfara correspondent says the Islamic Youth Organisation will be holding a march on Wednesday to celebrate the attacks.

Other Africans are concerned about friends and family who are now living in the US.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Ibrahim Dosara in Zamfara, Nigeria
"Many people here are jubilating over the happenings in America"
The BBC's Grey Phombeah in Nairobi
"This reminds (Kenyans) of what happened three years ago"
Cecil Blake, Sierra Leone's Information Minister
"People are flabbergasted.The image of an impregnable America"
See also:

07 Aug 01 | Africa
Kenya remembers bomb victims
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