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Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere at the scene of the blast/MIKE KARIUKI


Police change tact, probe explosives link

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere at the scene of the blast/MIKE KARIUKI

NAIROBI, Kenya May 28 – Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere now says his officers are probing the possible use of Improvised Explosive Devices in Monday afternoon’s blast that ripped through a shopping mall in Nairobi.

A statement from his office said: “The investigating team is exploring the possibility that the blast was caused by criminals using an improvised device.”

The statement assured the public that everything was being done to ascertain the cause of the blast.

“The Commissioner of Police would wish to assure the public that this incident will be thoroughly investigated and measures stepped up to ensure that such an explosion does not recur in future,” the statement from the police headquarters said.

Iteere appealed to anyone with information to volunteer it to detectives.

“The Commissioner of police is also appealing to the public to avoid speculation on the motive behind it,” the statement went on.

He said one of the injured people was a Filipino and the rest Kenyans.

Even though the police are now investigating the use of explosive devices, Iteere was insistent that the blast was not caused by a bomb.

“Initial examination of the scene indicates that the possibility of a conventional bomb is remote,” the statement explained.

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The police chief’s earlier assertion that the blast was caused by an electric fault was immediately dismissed by the Kenya Power company, which said there was no grounded transformer at the building that could have caused a massive blast.

The firm said its technicians and engineers had visited the scene and “found all the electrical connections to the building including the cutouts (fuses) on the Kenya Power side that would otherwise blow in the event of a short circuit inside the building intact.”

“It is therefore not possible that the explosion was caused by an electricity fault,” the statement from Kenya Power said.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga visited the scene on Monday afternoon and declared it was an act of terror.

“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 where 30 people were wounded.


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