Blast: Police do not rule out explosive
Posted Monday, May 28 2012 at 21:52
Police have said a blast that rocked Assanands House in Nairobi's Moi Avenue on Monday could have been caused by an improvised explosive device.
In a statement sent to newsrooms on Monday night, Mr Iteere said though the cause of explosion had still not been established, investigators were exploring the possibility that the blast could have been caused by criminals using an improvised explosive device.
The statement said an initial examination of the scene indicates that the possibility of a conventional bomb is remote.
Earlier, Mr Iteere ruled out a grenade attack, saying police suspected the blast could have been caused by an electrical fault.
The huge explosion that was immediately followed by a fireball occurred at exactly 1pm. The resultant fire gutted all the 20 stalls that mainly stock shoes and clothes.
Police say they are trying to piece together what happened as there were indications that it exploded next to the rear wall of Shop 10, which is fifth from the entrance facing Moi Avenue.
The impact of the blast left a one metre wide and half metre deep hole at the far end of Shop 10.
Senior explosives experts under the command of Anti-Terrorism Police Unit boss Boniface Mwaniki could be seen combing the scene for clues that could assist in revealing the nature of the explosive and also the suspects’ identity.
By Monday evening, no one had been arrested although immediately after the incident, the public apprehended a man of Somali origin. Police said that they could not immediately link him to the attack.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Jamleck Kamau said CCTVs will be installed very soon in the city soon to ensure such incidents are captured to make investigations easier.
Internal Security assistant minister Orwa Ojodeh said it was too early to establish the nature of the explosive and the motive of the attackers.
Police immediately sealed off the scene and closed Moi Avenue to traffic but had a rough time controlling the crowd that thronged the scene, oblivious of the danger they were exposing themselves to.
Mr Ojodeh also urged the public to avoid rushing to scenes of attacks for their safety. The arrival of the VIPs further complicated the detectives’ work as they had to be allowed access to the scene together with their aides and body guards.
The Prime Minister arrived at around 3.20pm followed shortly by city mayor George Aladwa and Regional Development Minister Fred Gumo.