Blast toll rises to six-Police circulate picture of suspect

Forensic experts spent the better part of Sunday morning examining the site of Saturday’s matatu blast at Pangani, Nairobi, as the death toll rose to six.

Two of the 36 people admitted to various hospitals succumbed to their injuries Sunday.

Bomb experts, among them two foreigners, collected debris and soil residues from the scene, which was still littered with torn clothing, pieces of shattered glass and metal.

They also marked a 50-metre radius at Pangani Girls High School playground where they combed through overgrown grass.

“We are trying to gather clues at this crime scene to determine exactly what caused the explosion,” one of the officers, who cannot be identified as he is not authorised to speak to journalists, said.

And as investigations into the suspected terror attack intensified, police said Sunday the prime suspect alighted from the vehicle about 50 metres from where the blast occurred.


Detectives revealed that the man detonated the improvised device he had left in the matatu by remote control.

The blast occurred on Juja Road, outside Pangani Girls High School, a few seconds after the man alighted at the Chai Road junction.

“The driver has indicated there is a man who alighted on Chai Road just before the explosion and it’s him we are after,” said Mr Nicholas Kamwende, the head of criminal investigations in Nairobi.

One of the survivors of the deadly blast claimed he saw a young man of Somali origin alight from the ill-fated matatu roughly five minutes before the explosion.

Talking from his hospital bed, he told reporters he boarded the matatu at Pangani stage and occupied the seat the young man had left as he alighted from the vehicle “but did not notice anything unusual.”

At the same time, police are holding another man they picked from a crowd that had gathered at the scene and is being held at Pangani Police Station.

Inspector General David Kimaiyo yesterday released a picture of a man he identified as 21-year-old Hussein Nur Mohamed and said he was being sought in connection with the Saturday attack.

He added that a suspect arrested Sunday gave detectives information that led them to believe Mr Mohamed was involved.

The police chief further revealed that Mr Mohamed was arrested months ago and taken to court “over terrorism charges.”

“He was previously charged and released on bond, however he failed to appear in court and a warrant of arrest is in force. We are appealing to members of the public with any information concerning the suspect and others to report urgently to the nearest police station,” Mr Kimaiyo

The photograph of Hussein Nur Mohamed provided by police on December 15, 2013. An arrest warrant has been issued after police tied him to the Pangani matatu blast. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL

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