, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14 – The death toll from Sunday’s multiple blasts at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park has risen to six after a 51-year-old man was found dead in his car within the park.
Police said the man with shrapnel wounds may have been injured in one of the three grenade blasts and appeared to have stumbled to his car, where he died – probably from excessive bleeding.
The man’s body was discovered on Sunday night by General Service Unit (GSU) officers who were deployed to guard the park after grenades were hurled at a crowd attending a church crusade that was also addressed by politicians opposed to the proposed Constitution.
“He lay dead in his car, and had similar injuries like those suffered by victims of the Sunday night blast. It is like he was hit by the shrapnel,” deputy Nairobi Central Police division Chief Thomas Atuti said.
“He had all his personal documents and mobile phone intact,” he added.
Central Division criminal investigations boss Festus Malinge told Capital News they had contacted the man’s family.
“With the death of this man, the death toll has risen to six,” he said.
Meanwhile, detectives from various government security agencies were combing Uhuru Park for evidence, following President Mwai Kibaki’s directive that a “thorough investigation would be carried out.”
A meeting chaired by the Head of State at State House resolved that “the police should undertake a quick, comprehensive and thorough investigation,” and requested the people who were at the scene and anybody who might have valuable information to volunteer it to security agencies, to assist in the investigation.
“The police are pursuing the matter as a serious crime. An appropriate investigation machinery has been put in place to pursue the culprits,” a statement issued from State House said.
Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) boss Nicholas Kamwende and Flying Squad chief Julius Ole Sunkuli spent the better part of Monday morning combing the scene for evidence.
Mr Kamwende later said “what we have found is too little to facilitate our investigation but it will help. We will also rely on information from the public and video images and photographs that journalists took at the scene.”
Another senior police officer involved in the investigation later told Capital News that close examination of the evidence collected at the scene and some of the shrapnels found had shown the grenades hurled at the crowd belonged to one of the state security agencies.
“We are certain about that; the grenades must have been sourced from one of the government security agencies but we do not know by whom,” the officer said. “What we are interested to know at this point is how they found their way out of the stores and who detonated them.”
No suspect had been arrested by Monday evening but detectives said they were pursuing “very crucial leads. We will certainly get them very soon.”
Our source said more than 10 people had been interrogated by the police, but none of them had been implicated.
“In such an investigation, we get to talk to a lot of people, it does not mean that when we talk to an individual he or she is a suspect, we are most interested in information, that can only come from people who attended the rally and those who saw it happen. These are the people we have been talking to.”