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23 arrested over Nairobi blasts

By - Updated Thursday, December 20th 2012 at 00:00 GMT +3
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By Cyrus Ombati

NAIROBI, KENYA: Police are holding 23 people following Wednesday night’s twin blasts in Pangani area that left three people wounded.

The suspects were arrested in swoops that followed after the blasts near Al-Amin mosque in the area and they have not been directly linked to the attacks.

Police say the explosions were caused by an improvised devise and a grenade that had been planted and thrown at a crowd.

It is not clear if the attackers were targeting the mosque but police say the gang may be part of the larger group that is out to cause despondence in the area.

The motive of the incident is yet to be known but is the latest in a series that have occurred in the same area leaving more than a dozen people killed and several wounded.

Nairobi Area police boss Moses Ombati said a team of detectives is combing the larger Eastleigh area looking for hints into the attack.

He said among the injured was a teenage girl who was walking near the scene of the blasts that was about 40 meters apart.

“The suspects in custody did not have identification documents and we are talking to them to see if they have any useful information on the attack,” said the police boss.

The same area has been hit more than five times in the past months leaving more than ten people dead.

The first one occurred in St Polycarp church where a child was killed in September when an explosive device was hurled at a Sunday school class.

A police officer was injured in the same area few days later before a mosque was targeted killing six people and injured several others including Kamkunji MP Yusuf Hassan.

A minibus was also targeted in an explosion that killed ten passengers in November.

In Mandera, North Eastern, police detonated a bomb that had been planted on the roadside. Police said the bomb had been set on a motorcycle battery and a time placed besides it.

An officer aware of the Wednesday incident said the officers were alerted by smoke that was billowing from Boarder Point Three area and when they arrived at the scene they detected the huge bomb that was about to explode.

“It was a huge bomb and had it exploded on a vehicle things could have been bad,” said an officer.

No arrest has been made over the incident, which marks the latest in a series that have occurred since Kenya sent troops to Somalia to hunt down Al Shabaab militants who had been blamed for insecurity in the country.

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