Despite Police Commissioner Matthew Iteere initially ruling out a grenade or bomb attack as being the cause of yesterday’s explosion on Moi Avenue in central Nairobi and ascribing it to an “electrical fault”, police investigations are now exploring the possibility of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) being the cause. 36 people have been taken to hospital of which five are reported to be critically injured.
Meanwhile varying stories have emerged regarding two or more men seen at the site a few minutes before the explosion occurred and whom police want to question.
Experts from Kenya Power ruled out the theory that an electrical fault was the root cause of explosion and resultant fire in Assanands House just after 1pm yesterday. Iteere told reporters that he had seen “a very huge cable of wires” at the scene and that this was why he made the statement “that the explosion could have been caused by an electrical fault”. He went on to say however, “that now we are looking at the other angle of improvised explosive devices”.
NAIROBI BLAST: EYE WITNESS ACCOUNTS OF POSSIBLE SUSPECTS
Iteere also stated that just after 1pm a man of ‘Somali origin’ was seen by a stall holder who had visited her shop earlier in the morning and asked her to keep a bag for him. “A few minutes after 1pm, he came back accompanied by another man carrying a smaller bag”, Iteere said, “which they placed next to the other bag and requested the lady to sell him an item on the stall. They agreed a price and while the lady was wrapping it for him,he received or pretended to receive a phone call and walked out of the stall”. The explosion occurred a few minutes later.
A woman identified as Irene Wachira reportedly told the Associated Press news agency that, “A light skinned man walked in and out of the building after placing a bag which later exploded”.
The People however, reports that an eye witness claims to have seen four men ‘stroll together along Moi Avenue with one carrying a clothing bag’.
A police spokesman, Eric Kiraithe, told reporters that the police hoped to have preliminary results from their investigations by 4pm today.