Kenyan PM evacuated in grenade scare

September 20, 2011 12:10 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 20 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga was evacuated from his office on Nairobi’s Harambee Avenue on Tuesday afternoon after a hand grenade was found in the building.

The incident occurred just before 1pm according to insiders in the PM’s office.

“The PM was in a meeting with the Chief Justice when a senior police officer from Vigilance House came and issued instructions that the PM must vacate the building.”

It’s understood that the PM and the CJ were not in any direct danger, and the decision to evacuate them was purely precautionary.

When asked if the PM was in the office at the time of the find, Deputy Police Spokesman Charles Owino Wahong’o said:  ‘” believe he was in.”

“We have established that one plumber who was undertaking repairs in the building, came down to the store and he found a device.  He informed the police who later went and found it was a hand grenade which has been taken out for analysis,” he said.

Wahong’o added: “It will take us some time to know how the hand grenade could have found itself into that particular store.”

A massive police operation was launched and the area cordoned off for a tactical ‘sweep’ using sniffer dogs. Each of the three entries were manned by five Administration Police officers.

Staff working in the building continued with their duties as usual but were allowed to leave early for the day after news of the grenade discovery quickly spread across the city.

Administration Police officers posted to the PM’s Office restricted entry to the building especially at the public entrance where one was required to state their business before they were allowed to proceed to the reception where they would then be cleared after further probing by another team.

Journalists were also denied entry into the building.

The PM’s office is located opposite the President’s office where security was equally tight.  The Head of State is however in New York attending the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Administration Police and plainclothes officers could be seen trying to keep curious onlookers from crowding in front of the two buildings.

“A standard grenade is a lethal thing.  If it was released where we are, you can be certain we will all lose our lives,” Wahong’o said.


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