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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

NAIROBI, Kenya — Secretary of State John Kerry visited the site of al Qaeda's deadly attack on the U.S. embassy in Nairobi on Monday, honoring the victims and stressing that "terrorists always fail."

Kerry met survivors of the 1998 blast — which killed more than 200 people, including 12 Americans — and laid a wreath in the city's August 7 Memorial Park.

"Terrorists will always fail," Kerry said at the site of the former embassy. "Yes, they can reduce a building to rubble. And yes, they can even deprive innocent people of their lives.... But they do not give anyone anything of what really makes life worthwhile."

The bombing also had not diminished Kenya's "sense of community...dignity and honor," Kerry added.

Kenya is a key regional ally for Washington in the fight against the al Qaeda-linked terror group al Shabab, based in neighboring Somalia.

The secretary of state's visit comes just over a month after al Shabab militants stormed Kenya's Garissa University College and killed 147 people. It was the country's deadliest attack since the 1998 bombing.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Kenya in July.

- Abigail Williams and Alexander Smith

Alexander Smith reported from London