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Standard photo editor Jacob Otieno on the August 1998 bomb blast

By Japheth Ogila | Published Mon, August 6th 2018 at 15:10, Updated August 6th 2018 at 15:25 GMT +3
The Standard's Photo editor Jacob Otieno in an interview with KTN News. [Photo: Courtesy]

Tomorrow marks the twentieth anniversary of the August 7, 2018 twin bomb attacks on both the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

The Nairobi blast killed over 200 and maimed thousands with Osama Bin Laden’s terror group Al-Qaeda claiming responsibility. In 2011 Bin Laden would be killed at his Pakistan hide-out in one of the most daring operations by US commandoes.

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 Families were wrecked emotionally and materially after the heinous act.

Many journalists who covered the blasts remember them vividly.

 Standard photo editor Jacob Otieno remembers it all.

"I recall about three different people in that confusion. One of them was called Joy. This child was born at the Nairobi Hospital prematurely by a mother injured at the blast. I remember Cabinet ministers went to see her," Otieno says.

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He also remembers his namesake Jacob, a staffer at the US Embassy, who lost both eyes in the blasts.

The journalist also recalls the painful death of a woman by the name Rose whom he says died under the rubble before an Israeli rescue team could reach her.

"Journalists are very funny…these things affect them much later," he says wiping away tears.

Otieno adds that reporters may find it "normal" covering scenes of death, but when they are involved in personal recollections, agonising memories cloud their minds, and some may be on the precipice of being depressed.


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