Bomb experts in Mombasa on Sunday used a specialized explosive to rip open a strange bag that had been found abandoned, within the busy central business district, and thought to be carrying explosives.
The bag was found just 100 meters from the scene of Saturday’s explosion which killed three people and injured another 23.
Mwembe Tayari bus terminus, the area within which the bag was found, was sealed off for more than three hours as police plotted on the safest way to open the bag, as curious onlookers milled around to catch a glimpse.
But after opening it, the bag was found carrying personal belongings believed to be the property of a high school student, who may have been returning to school for the new term beginning on Monday.
“There was nothing dangerous in it. Our officers found school uniform, soaps, and a wallet carrying money we believe may have been the student’s school fees,” Nelson Marwa, Mombasa county commissioner told journalists after the incident.
He said police had arrested 104 suspects for interrogation, in a swoop that followed Saturday’s twin blasts in Mwembe Tayari and Reef Hotel in Nyali.
“To beef up security further, we have recommended that all bus stations have patrol units during peak hours. In light of the Nyali attack, we will have all public access roads to all beaches manned,” Marwa said, adding that a man-hunt for Saturday’s attackers was on.
The attack was a blow to an ongoing country-wide operation dubbed ‘Usalama Watch’ targeting illegal migrants and other terrorism-related crimes.
No one claimed responsibility for the Saturday attacks, but Al Shabaab had vowed to revenge Kenya’s incursion into Somalia where they are fighting the insurgents under the African Union troops.
President Uhuru Kenyatta maintained that the troops would remain there until the war-torn country stabalised.