THE two men who blew themselves up in a car at Pangani police station on Wednesday night were targeting a live television show on KTN. Jeff Koinange was due to host Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku and Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo at a mall in Eastleigh.
The suspects are believed to have been going to the mall where preparations had been made for the Jeff Koinange Live show, according to intelligence sources. Lenku and Kimaiyo were late in arriving. Police brought in sniffer dogs and cordoned off the mall just before the explosion.
Rushing to their destination, the two suicide bombers drove their white Toyota NZE car from Chai Road but ended up on the wrong side of the road, attracting the attention of police officers.
The five police officers in a Land Cruiser vehicle flagged them down. Two policemen entered the car and ordered them to drive to Pangani Police station with the police Land Cruiser following them. The two suspects detonated their bomb entering the station killing themselves and the two police officers. The explosives were planted in a 10 liter water jerrycan, according to an officer from Anti-Terrorist Police Unit.
A junior police officer, who declined to be named, said another theory was that the white Toyota deliberately flouted traffic rules to attract the attention of police officers. Forensic experts collected charred remains of the two bombers and the officers.
An eyewitness, Andrew Mudibo who lives in an apartment nearby, said the 9pm blast shook the five storey GI Home apartments. "We heard a loud bang and thought it was a tyre burst but within seconds the whole apartment was shaking," he said.
"A few minutes later a lady who was passing by came and said the air had turned acidic. She was covered in blood and flesh. We ran out to see what was happening and saw people running away. Shortly after police arrived and cordoned off the area," he said.
A trader who operates opposite the police station entrance said she saw the two cars entering the police station before the explosion happened. "I heard a very loud bang. I tried to close the shop, but could not because the dust blew in with the smell of fresh blood," she said.
A second bomb was found inside the car and was detonated by bomb experts an hour after the first explosion. "The occupants were flagged down and questioned about their motive of driving on the wrong side but they couldn't clearly explain. The officers decided to take them to Pangani Police Station for further interrogation. Two officers entered the car to make sure the suspects didn't escape, one sat at the front and the other at the back, while the remaining officers in the 999 patrol car escorted the suspected car from behind. On reaching the Pangani Police Station gate, one of the suspects on sensing danger ignited the IED that had been mounted at the boot of the suspects car. Unfortunately the car exploded killing all occupants including our two officers and two suspects," said Police Inspector General David Kimaiyo in a statement. Yesterday police were still trying to establish the owner of the exploded car so that they could identify the two young men in it.
Yesterday a Toyota Probox car found abandoned in Eastleigh near Don Bosco Secondary school and Klub Lexus Bar and restaurant was towed to Pangani police station after police said it had traces of explosive material.
Residents alerted police about the vehicle that was abandoned on Wednesday. It was checked by a robot that found no bomb although it had traces of explosives.
Nairobi County deputy police commander Moses Ombati said that the vehicle will undergo further examination because it could have been used to assemble the Pangani police station bombs.