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Mystery surrounds discovery of male body after Jomo Kenyatta International Airport ‘blast’

By Cyrus Ombati | January 17th 2014
Members of public having closer look at a vehicle where body of a man was discovered on Thursday night: (PHOTO: Collins Kweyu)

By Cyrus Ombati

NAIROBI, KENYA:  Mystery surrounds the discovery of a male body and an explosive in a bullet riddled car in Shauri Moyo shopping center, Nairobi.

The body of Somali origin man also had bullet wounds when it was discovered Friday morning. The discovery happened after a mysterious blast happened at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport causing damage at the Unit 1 near the international departures.
Police said there was also a shooting near the airport main exit after a car failed to stop and drove past a security barrier. The officers opened fire at the car as it sped off.
The car is believed to be the same that was found with a body inside in Shauri Moyo area.
Police cited witnesses saying two men escaped aboard a motorbike from the scene after arriving there in the bullet riddled car shortly before midnight. 
Speaking on the discovery of the body in the car, Nairobi police boss Benson Kibue said the men are believed to have been on or from a mission.
The Toyota salon car was abandoned at the scene and experts were sent there to ensure safety before it could be removed.
"It seems they had a mission but we are yet to know who they are. Even the deceased man is not known to us and locals. We are investigating it," said Kibue.
It had six bullet holes in the rear and front sides and deflated tyres that seemed to have been driven for a long distance while flat.
The body was found in a pool of blood on the rear seat of the car whose doors were found open.
The discovery was made at about 2 am on Friday. Bomb experts and officers from anti-terrorism unit were sent there to examine the car. 
At JKIA, even though police boss David Kimaiyo said the blast was caused by a lose light bulb that fell, experts pointed to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). It caused damage on a roof near the Nairobi Java House and witnesses said they heard it several meters away.
A Java cup was found inside the car in Shauri Moyo, an indication the men were in the popular restaurant at the airport.
Police were reviewing CCTV cameras at JKIA and in particular those at Java as part of efforts to know the occupants of the car.
Another officer said they are holding a suspect in connection with the whole episode.
The incident caused disruption at the airport briefly before normal operations resumed.
"It was not a blast at JKIA but some papers caught fire after a loose light bulb fell into a dustbin that caused panic at Java coffee shop," said Kimaiyo.
Kimaiyo said the bulb theory was one of the theories they are pursuing and it may change with time depending on investigation outcomes.
Other witnesses said the explosion was caused by an abandoned luggage. They said the luggage was left near a dustbin.
But Kimaiyo and airport officials denied it was caused by other factors other than the bulb that burst and fell causing a fire.
"Let's wait and see what officers handling the incident say," said Kimaiyo.
The fact that the scene was sealed off for hours for bomb experts to arrive, raised more questions. The experts took their time at the scene and collected samples.
Senior police officers were in meetings Friday to discuss the incident and some of them connected the Shauri Moyo car to the JKIA incident.
"But the incidents are still under investigation so wait for more facts," said a senior police officer aware of the development.
Terror related attacks are common in Nairobi, Mombasa and parts of North Eastern since Kenyan troops crossed to Somalia in 2011. 
The most common ones are grenade attacks after the troops crossed to Somalia to contain Al-Shabaab militants. The attackers usually claim it is in retaliation to the military action. The incidents increased last year despite the efforts put by the Government to contain them.

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