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Panic at mall as police arrest man with home-made bomb

BY STELLA CHERONO

Panic gripped Garden City Mall after a man was arrested attempting to smuggle in an improvised explosive device into the snazzy new shopping mall situated along Thika Road, Nairobi.

Kasarani OCPD Robinson Mboloi told Nairobi News that the man was intercepted at 3:30pm Tuesday trying to walk into the mall while carrying the device.

After being detained by the private security guards manning the entrance, anti-terrorism police unit was called in who confirmed that indeed he was carrying an IED. He was taken into custody alongside two other men for questioning by the ATPU.

The device was later blown up in an open ground by the bomb disposal unit, said Mr Mboloi. Normal operations have resumed at the mall.

Kenya has of late experienced serenity after back to back terror attacks, with the Westgate Mall attack in September 2013 –which killed 67 people- still fresh in mind.

Today’s events come on the day the United States embassy in South Africa warned of a “terrorist threat” to US interests in the country, and advised its citizens to be on heightened alert against attack, according to AFP.

The security message issued by the embassy in Pretoria said there was no information of the possible timing or target in South Africa, which has escaped the militant Islamist attacks seen in several other African countries.

“Extremists may be targeting US interests in South Africa, to possibly include US Government facilities and other facilities identifiable with US business interests,” the embassy statement said.

“Remain aware and vigilant of your surroundings… Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.”

The South African government was not immediately available to comment.