NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 26 – There was panic in Nairobi’s Kayole estate on Wednesday afternoon when police were called in to detonate a ‘bomb’ which was allegedly hidden in a saloon car that was abandoned on the main road leading into the area.,
Anti terrorism police officers from the CID headquarters surrounded the vehicle and searched it with sniffer dogs before they used a remote-controlled detonator to rip open the trunk where the bomb was thought to be hidden.
As the car’s trunk was ripped open, it caused a loud blast that sent people scampering for safety.
Police at the Kayole police station said it would take experts some time before they establish if there was an explosive device inside or not.
“There has been some damage at the back of the car and experts will need time to examine it technically to establish if there was an explosive or not, but for now they have been able to make it safe and that is why we have been able to tow it to the police station,” Kayole divisional Police chief Moses Lubisia said.
The car was driven to the scene and abandoned by a lone man who told area residents in Kiswahili ‘ngojeni muone dunia ikiisha’ (wait and see the world come to an end).
Before police arrived at the scene, curious onlookers milled around as others even peeped through the windows of the car to try to see if there was a bomb in it as claimed.
“I have never seen a bomb that is why I want to see it. We want to be shown where it is and how it looks like,” Michael Omolo, a resident in Kayole shouted before police arrived and ordered everyone away.
But even with the arrival of the police, residents did not heed orders to stand at least 300 meters away from the cordoned area.
Police at the scene told Capital News that they had received information from members of the public there saying that the man who abandoned the car had warned them of imminent danger.
“We received information that there was a car parked and the person who had it had warned people it will explode. That is when experts were called,” Lubisia added.
He said the owner of the car had been identified as a woman, although the person who abandoned it is male.
City residents have been cautious lately following twin grenade attacks in downtown Nairobi on Monday that left one person dead and 30 others wounded.
Police on Monday announced they had stepped up security and warned Kenyans to exercise caution particularly when in the capital Nairobi.
Al Shabaab insurgents have warned of reprisal attacks may hit targets within the city to protest a military offensive in their lawless country Somalia.
The military offensive in Somalia was launched after high profile kidnappings of four European women seized from Lamu Island and Dadaab refugee camp in Northern Kenya, including Frenchwoman Marie Dedieu who died while in captivity in Somalia.
Police have blamed the kidnappings on the Al Shabaab.
The American embassy in Nairobi at the weekend warned of credible threats targeting places frequented by foreigners in Nairobi, further heightening fears of a possible terror attack.