MUSAMARINI, Kenya – The whole village came to mourn. Relatives wailed and women nursing babies sat in the dark shade on paprika-red earth. Men shoveled the soil into two deep graves.
In grief laced with anger, they lashed out Saturday against the terror attacks that targeted Israeli tourists — three died — but also took the lives of 10 Kenyans. The three suicide bombers also died in their attack on the nearby Paradise Hotel.
The horror of international terrorism came home to Yaa Kahunda when she prepared to bury her son and great-niece, traditional dancers who were killed as they welcomed Israeli tourists to the Israeli-owned hotel.
"My son did not do anything bad to anybody, he does not belong to any of these conflicts," Kahunda said. "I have heard of (terrorism) but I didn't know it could do such awful things ... I didn't think it could come to my village, to my country."
Just minutes before the suicide bombing, two missiles were fired at an Israeli passenger jet leaving the Mombasa airport. The missiles narrowly missed the Boeing 757, which was carrying 261 passengers and 10 crew, and no one was hurt.
The mourners in the village of Musamarini, 15 miles north of Mombasa, said they were baffled by the attacks.
People live here in simple thatched huts of dirt and rock. Many are subsistence farmers, growing tomatoes and harvesting mangoes, oranges and coconuts.
Tourism is Kenya's third biggest foreign currency earner, and many people living on the East Africa nation's coast, where the sea is warm and the palm-lined beaches are soft and white, have found jobs at the hotels.
Thursday's attacks will be another blow to the industry that has struggled since politically motivated ethnic violence in the area in August 1997 and the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Kenyans also saw terror in 1998, when a bomb tore through the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, killing 207 Kenyans and 12 Americans. Officials have said it was part of an Al Qaeda plot in which the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania was bombed simultaneously.
Esther Salim was married to Kahunda's son, Charro Baya, one of the slain dancers.
"I don't see why people fighting far away come here and kill our relatives," she said.
Leaning against her, four-year-old Pendo Salim did not yet know her mother, another of the victims, was dead.
She has asked repeatedly for her, wondering why she never came back from the hotel. Her relatives said they will explain the death when the body is returned from the mortuary for burial.
But the mortuary won't release the body until it is paid $187 for autopsies on the bodies of all three villagers killed in the attack. The surviving residents say there isn't enough money among them to pay the fee.
The villagers said the police and local government have not yet offered to help, although President Daniel arap Moi promised Friday that the government would help the Kenyan victims.
Esther Salim and the other women relatives of the dead sat in one of the huts, swaying and wailing. The sounds cut through the thick, humid air and hung over the neighbors and friends who came together to grieve.
"Why is this happening to us?" the women cried out.
At the blackened and burned Paradise Hotel, about 150 hotel employees sat in view of the crystalline turquoise water of the Indian Ocean on a patch of lawn. They listened to local officials, and some workers plead with them to help pay the hospital bills of the wounded and the burial costs of the dead.
A Red Cross worker told the group how to find the wounded and dead in local hospitals and morgues. Among those killed were reception workers, dancers, porters and security guards.
At the close of the meeting the workers stood and bowed their heads in prayer.
None of them has a job to go back to.
Alex Nyoka, a 25-year-old tour guide who had worked at the hotel for five years, learned fluent Hebrew from the guests. He wondered when he would have a chance to use it again.
Israeli tourists will be slow to return here, he said, shaking his head.
"It's something evil what (the terrorists) did," said Nyoka, rattling off the cost in lives, wounded, and livelihood as he sat on the edge of what remains of the hotel staff cafeteria.
A thick layer of soot covered the floor. Broken plates and cups were still on charred tables, and Israeli investigators made their way through the hotel's skeletal remains.
One investigator, accompanied by his Kenyan counterparts, said only that the work was "going well." He and the others walked up a low staircase and disappeared into a stone facade of a lion's open mouth that once was the hotel's main decoration.