Kenya charges Iranians over explosives

June 25, 2012 5:39 pm
Iranian terror suspects Ahmed Mohammed and Sayed Mansour when they appeared at the Milimani Courts on Monday

, NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 25 – Two men thought to be Iranians who were arrested last week in Nairobi and Mombasa were charged on Monday with being in possession of dangerous explosives.

Charges for Ahmed Mohamud and Said Mausud, read that they were found with 15 kilograms of RDX explosives in circumstances which indicated that they were armed with intent to commit a felony otherwise known as grievous harm.

The offence was committed on or before 20th June, 2012 at Mombasa Golf Course along Mama Ngina drive in the port city.

They both denied the charges before Principal Magistrate P. C Biwott at the Milimani Law courts.

Tehran had on Saturday said the identities of the two suspects were yet to be known.

“The identities of these persons are not yet known to us and the Iranian embassy in Nairobi is seeking to obtain information and a consular visit,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.

“As long as the identities of these persons are not obtained, we cannot make any comment about this matter,” he said.

The Magistrate ordered that they be remanded in police custody until Wednesday when he will rule on their bail application.

He remanded them after the Prosecution objected to their release, saying they remained a flight risk.

They were not legally represented.

Police have intensified security patrols and intelligence gathering following the arrests of the foreigners and a grenade attack that occurred in Mombasa on Sunday night, killing three people.

30 other people were wounded in the attack that occurred at Jericho Beer Garden, a bar in Mshomoroni within Kisauni, some seven kilometers from Mombasa town.

“Two of the victims died in hospital. One had died earlier at the scene of the blast,” Kenya Red Cross spokeswoman Nelly Muluka said.

Most people in the club were football fans following the Euro 2012 quarter-final match in Kiev between England and Italy.

Provincial police chief Aggrey Adoli said 30 people were still in hospital with injuries from the blast Monday morning, while the Red Cross put the number at 25.

“One of those wounded people is assisting us because he is providing contradictory statements. He is being held as a suspect,” Adoli said.

It was not clear who was behind Sunday’s attack, but since Kenya sent tanks and troops into Somalia late last year, grenade and other attacks have intensified in Nairobi, the Mombasa area and in eastern towns and refugee camps close to the border.

The Kenyan authorities often blame such attacks on Somalia’s Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab rebels.

Sunday’s attack came just two days after the United States had warned its citizens of an imminent threat of such an attack in Mombasa and Kenyan police had arrested two Iranians on suspicion of planning bomb attacks.

On Friday, the US embassy said all government travel to Mombasa was suspended until July 1.

Just hours before Sunday’s attack, a senior Kenyan official had denounced the US warning.

“It is a reckless advisory and it was totally uncalled for,” the head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Francis Kimemia, told journalists in Mombasa.

France’s embassy in Nairobi also warned its citizens to be “extremely vigilant” in Mombasa and the surrounding area.


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