18 January 2014

Kenya: Mystery of Airport Blast and Dead Man

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo was summoned yesterday afternoon to State House for a security meeting following an explosion at JKIA airport on Saturday night. Kimaiyo was accompanied by CID chief Ndegwa Muhoro. Kimaiyo told the Star that the meeting was for East African security chiefs.

Yesterday morning police denied that the explosion at Java House coffee shop was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). "It was not a blast at JKIA but some papers caught fire after a loose light bulb fell into a dustbin that caused panic at Java coffee shop," Kimaiyo tweeted yesterday morning. "When the loose bulb fell down, it busted making an explosive sound thus causing panic," said Kimaiyo.

"No casualties and no cause of alarm. Officers are at the scene and operation has resumed at JKIA Unit 1," Kimaiyo said. However the discovery of the body of an unidentified man in Shauri Moyo has led to speculation that he was a terrorist who was chased and eliminated by the Anti Terrorism Police Unit after the Java explosion.

"Those are mere allegations. We don't know who the person is and we are investigating," said Police spokesman Gatiria Mboroki yesterday.

The middle aged man was discovered dead in a car at Shauri Moyo shopping centre inside a Grey Toyota Avensis registration KBS 965E. Police also found a coffee mug inside the car which is rumoured to also belong to Java House.

The man, who was lying in a pool of blood on the back seat of the car, had been shot in the stomach. Bullet holes were visible on the car's rear windscreen, back doors and its tires which were deflated. The dead man was booked in at the City Mortuary as number 159 and 'unknown male adult'. Police reportedly found a receipt in the man's pocket which indicated that he had applied for an identity card. The names on the receipt has been concealed to avoid prejudicing police investigations.

ATPU boss Boniface Mwaniki said he could not comment because he was out of the office. Kenya Airport security chief Erick Kiraithe said the fire was contained before it spread to other areas. He said the fire was caused by a "loose bulb" that fell into a rubbish bin that contained paper waste.

However fire investigators and Kenya Power had not yet been called to investigate the scene by yesterday evening. Nairobi Police commander Benson Kibui said police had started investigating the dead man but had not yet established his name.

At Shauri Moyo police station, ATPU officers examined the car together with detectives from the bomb disposal unit. There were copper wires protruding from the boot of the car. Shauri Moyo in Eastlands is a known base of al Shabaab militants and home to different terror cells.

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