Tanzania links in Kenya bus blast

December 21, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 21 – Police have confirmed that a man who died in Monday night’s grenade blast at a bus terminus in downtown Nairobi was a Tanzanian who was headed to Uganda on a terrorist mission.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that Albert John Olando Mulando was identified as the man who was carrying the luggage that had the exploded Russian-made grenade.

The device exploded before he could undergo a mandatory security check in order to board a Kampala Coach Bus, which was parked on River Road.

“After the investigations, we are over 90 percent sure that the man was transporting the grenade to Uganda. It is only that he became nervous and dropped it down during the security check before he could enter the bus,” he added.

The police boss said the man did not have any identification documents with him apart from a pass issued on October 23 when he entered the country through Loitoktok.

“He is a Tanzanian born in Mwanza, and he has been staying in the country since he was issued with the pass,” Mr Iteere said.

“So far, what we can say is that the man was acting alone and he did not have accomplices. He had with him a small notebook which had some mobile phone contacts which we are trying to scrutinise,” he added.

The man was carrying a luggage wrapped in a plastic bag and as he was about to be screened at the entrance of the bus, he reportedly became nervous and dropped it, causing an explosion.

During the confusion, some of the passengers who were lining up to undergo a security check were wounded as well as others who were already in the bus.

The incident occurred at 8.30 pm at the junction of Dubois Road and River Road.

“I am urging all Kenyans to be on high alert and always be wary of suspicious characters around them. Any such incidents or suspicious characters should be reported to the police,” Mr Iteere warned.

Mr Iteere said police had all the reasons to link it with the terror warning issued in Kampala, Uganda on Monday.

“We do not know the motive yet but we are linking it with the Al shabaab and the threats they have been issuing. On this particular one that exploded outside a bus, we have established that it was headed to Uganda,” the police chief reiterated.

On Monday, Uganda\’s police chief Inspector General Kale Kayihura said he had "strong indications" that Islamist militant groups were planning terrorist attacks there over the Christmas period.

He said the threats emanated from the Shebab, a Somali insurgent group which has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, and the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan Islamist group.

Uganda in July suffered East Africa\’s worst attacks in 12 years when suicide bombers struck two Kampala bars, killing 76 people.



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