Database of terrorist attacks and related events--Johnston's Archive

Embassy bombings, Kenya and Tanzania--7 August 1998

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 26 November 2017

Date: 7 August 1998

Location: Nairobi, Kenya; and Dar es Saalam, Tanzania

Type of event: terrorism


Two U.S. embassies in Africa were bombed. In the morning a truck carrying what may have been a 500-kg TNT charge was turned away from the front of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. It was then driven to an alley behind the embassy building where it was detonated, following an exchange of gunfire, at 10:30 AM. The Ufundi Building, an office building adjacent to (but unaffiliated with) the U.S. embassy collapsed. Most of the 291 deaths were in that building; 12 Americans in the embassy were killed. Injuries throughout the neighboring blocks totaled 4,877 (including the U.S. ambassador and 5 other Americans), with about 560 serious injuries.

At 10:39 AM, a truck with a similar bomb was confronted by guards outside the U.S. embassy in Dar es Saalam, Tanzania. Access was blocked by a water truck so the bomb was detonated outside the compound. All 12 killed there were Tanzanians. Another 77 were injured, including 1 American. Although the vehicle was outside the perimeter fence the embassy building was severely damaged. The water truck was thrown into the compound and the body of one occupant was never found, prompting speculation that this vehicle was involved. The subsequent investigation concluded the attack was the work of Al Qaeda, a state-supported Islamist terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden.

Consequences: 303 killed, 4,954 injured


© 2017 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 26 November 2017.
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