Two police officers were among four people who were killed when a vehicle they were escorting to Pangani Police Station in Nairobi was blown up on Wednesday night.
The officers had been manning a road block a few kilometres from the station when they intercepted the car and ordered the occupants to drive to Pangani Police Station for further investigations.
The vehicle exploded shortly after driving into the police station at around 8.50pm.
An explosive device in the vehicle was safely detonated by police.
Moments before the explosion, two of the officers got in the suspect’s car — a Toyota NZE — and and asked the driver and his passenger to drive to the police station. A police patrol car followed them.
Witnesses said that when they reached the station’s gate, the car exploded, killing the four occupants on the spot.
Officers in the escort car were lucky as only the front tyres of their vehicle were deflated, and the windscreen shattered but the officers were unharmed.
The detonation of the second explosive device sent the milling crowd, including journalists and security officers, running for cover.
A 20 litre jerrican was found at the scene.
The blast occured at a time of heightened security in Kenya with the swoop against undocumented foreigners entering its third week.
The security operation — codenamed Operation Usalama Watch — came in the wake of multiple terror attacks especially in the Pangani and Eastleigh areas of Nairobi.
There had been a lull in explosions after the operation was launched, sparking protests from members of the Somali community who alleged that they were being unfairly targeted.
Pangani is one of the stations where suspects netted in the swoop have been held while they are being processed either for release, deportation or appearance in court.
The station once housed elite police units such as the Flying Squad and Special Crime Prevention Unit. It now houses an Officer Commanding Police Division and a station commander.