June 12 – The Nairobi Waldorf School said it closed its two campuses in the Kenyan capital on the advice of the East African nation’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit after a “security incident” yesterday.
The schools in the suburbs of Karen and Kileleshwa will remain shut today and tomorrow after two men were seen taking pictures of the school’s signboard, gate and perimeter, Jane Kinyua, the school administrator, said by phone today from the city. The men, who were traveling in a pick-up truck, fled after being approached by a school security guard, she said.
“We spoke to the Diplomatic Police Unit and the Anti- Terrorism Police Unit and they advised us to close” the schools, which have about 230 students from Kenya and foreign countries, Kinyua said. “They also advised that the same vehicle was seen outside other international schools in Karen.”
Kenya has faced increasing attacks by Islamist militants since sending its army into neighboring Somalia in October 2011 to fight al-Shabaab insurgents who are trying to overthrow the government. The al-Qaeda-linked militants claimed responsibility for the Sept. 21 attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in which at least 67 people died.
Since then, there have been a spate of bombings in Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa that have killed at least 64 people and injured another 263, according to Maplecroft, the Bath, U.K.-based risk consultancy.
The Anti-Terrorism Police Unit is aware of yesterdayu’s incident and is investigating it, an official at the unit, who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak to the media, said by phone today. The authorities want to question the two people in the vehicle about why they were taking photographs, he said.
Waldorf schools use a system developed by the Austrian philosopher Rudol Steiner. There are more than 900 Waldorf schools in 83 countries, according to the institution’s website.