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Blind man held in terror attack probe

BUSINESS
By | March 19th 2012

By CYRUS OMBATI

Police investigating the grenade attacks at the Machakos Country Bus have arrested a blind man as part of their efforts to get those behind the incident that left nine people dead.

The man was on Saturday picked from outside the Jamia Mosque in Nairobi by undercover Anti-Terror Police Unit officers and driven to their offices for questioning.

It is not yet clear what role he may have played if any, in the attack. But insiders said he has crucial information over the attack.

He was released late in the night on Saturday and ordered to report to the offices today morning.

His arrest came hours after the wife of one of the suspects, who was once held over his alleged links with Al-Shabaab, was arrested and questioned for hours

Ms Husna Ali Shaaban, the wife of Hussein Nderitu Abbas alias Mohamed was arrested by the detectives investigating the incident from her Nyeri home and brought to Nairobi.

Nderitu’s picture together with that of Sylvester Opiyo were last December circulated by police who said they wanted to grill them.

Opiyo and three other minors are expected to report back at ATPU offices today as directed by police. They had been arrested on Sunday, a day after the blast and grilled for three days and ordered to return there on Friday, which they did.

The others were identified as Swaleh Ali, 13, Mustafa Gathogo, 14, and Victor Otieno, 16.

The four were arrested in Umoja estate as they moved household goods into a new house.

Wanted

Police said in December Opiyo and Nderitu were wanted as they "have vital information on Al-Shabaab activities in Kenya."

They then both lived in Nairobi’s Pumwani area, with Opiyo working as a goods loader in Gikomba market while Nderitu is a taxi driver. Both individuals have cases pending in court, having been arrested in March last year.

On Sunday, police said they were yet to know the real suspects revealing indications were that the grenades were manufactured in China.

"Preliminary findings show the grenades were manufactured in China but we are yet to know how they landed in the attackers’ hands," said a senior officer who asked not to be named.

It also emerged the blasts were five and not four as earlier reported.

More information on attack

•Police now say blasts were five and not four as earlier reported.

•Police and witnesses say attackers were in a saloon car driving along Landhies Road towards Jogoo Road.

•They threw five grenades consecutively about seven metres apart.

•Attack left nine people dead and more than 60 wounded.

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