, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – There was panic at the Nairobi Central Police station when a powerful bomb was found onboard a matatu that was headed to Nakuru.
Police said the 14-seater matatu had stopped for normal security checks when officers discovered the device.
“We usually conduct security searches for all matatus plying the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, so when this particular one came in for the check, all passengers were ordered to alight. Before the search could begin, a man sneaked away and fled,” the division’s commander Richard Muguai said.
He added that “the bomb was discovered in a bag.”
“Our officers were going through all the luggage, and when they were inspecting one of the bags, they found the devise and demanded to know who the owner was, that is when the other passengers said that they heard him asking to be shown the washrooms,” he added.
The matatu was immediately detained and passengers screened further but no other dangerous item was found.
Mr Muguai said a manhunt had been launched for the owner of the luggage.
He said “officers will seek details of the passenger from the booking office of the matatu.”
Passengers in the matatu were later given alternative transport from the booking office.
Experts from the Bomb Disposal Unit were later called to the scene where they examined the device and described it as a “dangerous mortar propelled bomb.”
“This is a dangerous bomb, it can bring down a building and it therefore needs to be handled with care,” a police officer attached to the unit told Capital News before they loaded it in their vehicle.
He said they would examine it further at the CID headquarters and later destroy it.
On Tuesday, residents were evacuated from Maua town after an explosive devise was recovered behind a supermarket.
Bomb disposal unit officers later took it away and destroyed it at the CID headquarters.