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Police search for Paul Mwangangi after explosives found in his rented house in Githurai

By Cyrus Ombati | May 2nd 2020

The search is on for a terror suspect after explosives were found in a house he was living in in Nairobi’s Githurai area.

Paul Mwangangi had not been seen at the house since July last year, and on Thursday, his landlord decided to break in after he defaulted on rent.

According to the police, the landlord wanted to clear the house and prepare it for another tenant. This was after the landlord's attempts to reach Mr Mwangangi failed. It was then that the landlord stumbled on three smoke grenades, a cartridge, two white T-shirts with Al-Shabaab messaging, and a military jungle hat.

Officers from the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) were called to the scene and took away the recovered devices. Smoke grenades can cause a scare, but are largely used as a signaling device, target or landing zone marking device, or as a screening device for police or military unit movements.

Police say they are looking for Mwangangi. The team of investigators visited the scene yesterday as part of efforts to trace the missing man. It is not clear where he is for now. The head of ATPU John Gachomo is among the officers who visited the scene.

Cases of terrorism in the country have been on the decline due to multi-agency operations. Terrorists behind the incidents have been staging attacks targeting security agents near the Kenya-Somalia border. They usually set up explosive devices on the routes used by security officers.

The gangs are usually sent from Somalia with a mission. For instance, on April 20, 10 General Service Unit personnel escaped death when an improvised explosive device (IED), which had been set up on a road between Dimu and Duse in Kotulo Sub-county in Mandera exploded.

The officers were tipped of an IED and stopped a few metres away from the explosive. Four gunmen, who were waiting nearby, detonated it and vanished into the bush soon after the explosion. On April 12, four suspected militants were killed in a battle with police reservists in Wajir. 

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