NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29 – Investigators from the US Federal Bureau of Investigations and local police probing the Moi Avenue blast that partially ripped off the roof of the Assanand’s House and wounded 38 people are now convinced it was caused by a fertilizer bomb.
Sources at the CID who are involved in the investigation have told Capital FM News that the initial analysis of the debris and other material at the site has shown traces of ammonium nitrate, which is known to make explosives.
“There are traces of fertilizer at the site of the blast, there is also the smell of fuel,” a senior CID officer said adding.
The detectives were still trying to establish if there was any fuel stored in any of the shops at the building where the attack occurred on Monday afternoon.
“A strong smell of fuel can be felt, what we don’t know is if there was fuel stored in the building or it was used by the attackers in the bomb that exploded,” the source said, asking not to be named because he is not mandated to issue any official reports about the blast investigation.
The FBI investigators and others from various units of the Kenya Police spent the better part of Tuesday morning sifting through the debris at the site.
The officers could be seen collecting evidence for further analysis.
Our source said some of the material collected from the site had been taken to the Government Chemist for further analysis.
“We are also likely to send other material abroad for analysis; the foreign investigators are really helping us,” he said.
No official brief was given to journalists who were camped at the scene.
Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere had on Monday indicated that the blast was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), dropping an earlier assertion of an electric fault which was disputed by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC).
Police have said they are looking for a man said to have placed a bag in one of the shops at the building which exploded when he dashed out to answer a call on his mobile phone.
Nyakwama told Capital FM News no suspect had been arrested.
Of the 38 people wounded in the Monday blast, 23 had been discharged from the Kenyatta National Hospital. Two are said to be in a critical condition.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga branded Monday’s blast a “terrorist” attack and police said it was most probably caused by a homemade bomb after initially blaming a possible electrical fault.
“This is an attack of terrorism. They have failed elsewhere and we know they are going to fail in our country,” Odinga said when he visited the scene on Moi Avenue.
He sharply contradicted Iteere’s earlier assertions that the blast was a result of an electric fault. Police Headquarters later played down their far-fetched theory declared it was a result of an Improvised Explosive Devise.