Saturday, December 8, 2012

Police nab 300 after Eastleigh blast

PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI Detectives comb the scene of the blast in Eastleigh, Nairobi, on December 7, 2012 where five people were killed. Among the injured was Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SUNDAY NATION TEAM newsdesk@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Sunday, December 9  2012 at  00:30

Detectives are looking for the owner and occupants of a car they believe was used in Friday’s grenade attack outside a mosque in Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighbourhood.
They have also arrested more than 300 suspects in a massive operation launched after the attack that left area MP Yusuf Hassan hospitalised with fractured legs.
Most of the suspects arrested by police, Nairobi police chief Moses Ombati said, did not have identification documents.
Witnesses have told the police that a white car spirited away a man who was seen throwing the grenade, the Sunday Nationhas established.
“At the moment, we cannot say we have the key suspects, but we are following some clues. We have the registration number of the car used, and we are starting the search at KRA so that we can know its owner,” Mr Ombati said.
Five people died, and 37 others, including Mr Hassan, were injured in the 8 pm explosion outside Hidaya Mosque. (Read: Eastleigh blast death toll rises to five)
The victims were leaving the mosque after evening prayers.
Ten people were arrested near the scene of the blast minutes after the explosion, and more were arrested on Saturday as the operation was extended to the nearby Majengo estate.
By Saturday morning Mr Ombati said 82 people had been arrested. At the time, he said, he expected the number to rise.
“Most of those arrested were foreigners who did not have certified documents to show they are in Kenya legally. All of them will be interrogated, and various charges preferred as we look for the prime suspects,” he said.
More people have been arrested in similar operations since Wednesday after another attack in which one person died and eight others were injured.
Some of the suspects in the earlier swoop, most of them Somali nationals, were jailed after being charged. The court ordered they be repatriated after serving prison terms.
Mr Hassan, the MP for Kamakunji, was admitted at the Aga Khan Hospital with fractured legs and a cut in the hand, according to police.
MPs called for speedy investigations, saying the frequency of terrorist attacks in Eastleigh was alarming.
Nominated MP Mohamed Affey said: “We hope the government investigates and comes up with a conclusive solution to this matter.”
Mr Adan Duale (Dujis) said his injured colleague and his bodyguards were out of danger.
Makadara MP Gidion ‘Mike Sonko’ Mbuvi urged the government to conduct speedy investigations.
Mr Ombati said it was still too early to establish the motive for the attack and whether the MP was the main target.
Such attacks have become commonplace in Eastleigh over recent months, including one in September on St Polycarp Anglican Church in which a Sunday school boy was killed and others injured.
Some survivors of the Friday night mosque blast suggested it had been politically motivated and could have targeted the MP.


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