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‘Bomb scare’ at senior British diplomat’s residence in Nairobi

There was a bomb scare on Tuesday morning at the official Nairobi residence of a senior British High Commission after security official at the residence stumbled on an “abandoned bomb”.

According to the police, a security officer at the residence of the First Secretary at the High Commission raised the alarm saying they had spotted an object they believed to be a bomb at the entrance in Kilimani area, Nairobi.

Police rushed to the scene whereby they established a cylindrical object with writing word of ‘bomb’ on it. Experts from the bomb disposal unit at the DCI headquarters were called and condoned the area before securing the object for safe destruction.

Officials later said there was no cause for alarm and that the said bomb was fake. A team of detectives have launched investigations to establish the source of the object and its motive.

Police said the incident may compromise security and pose a serious threat. Such fake alarms have been on the rise amid calls for action to stop the trend.

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In July, another bomb scare disrupted work in some parts of Nairobi after a ‘suspicious object’ which was found outside Ebony House on Taveta Lane.

Officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) responded to the bomb alert and inspected it and said that the device did not look dangerous. After determining that the object did not pose a threat, police reopened the lane.

Last year, the ATPU spent two hours combing Yare Towers in Eastleigh, Nairobi County, after unknown people left a note warning of an explosion at the mall.

Armed with bomb detectors and sniffer dogs, the ATPU officers sifted through the Garissa Lodge building and its surroundings in search of grenades, improvised explosive devices or a bomb but there was none.

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Starehe divisional police commander (OCDP) said a bomb squad was sent to the location immediately after the matter was reported.

The then Kamukunji Deputy County Commissioner Samuel Kariuki said the leaflet was left in a lift and that the building’s caretaker is the one who took it to the police. The area was immediately cordoned off and bomb experts called in.

“Our officers searched the whole building and found nothing so it was a hoax, but we commend the wananchi for being alert and encourage them to do what the caretaker did so that action is always taken,” Mr Kariuki said outside the mall after it was declared safe.

The leaflet stated that the object was expected to explode anytime from 1pm. By that time, the entire building, which houses a three-star hotel and retail and wholesale outlets, had been evacuated.

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