Kenya beefs up security after discovery of ammunition boxes

Nairobi, March 25: Kenya have beefed up security around its capital Nairobi, particularly in major shopping malls, Tuesday after the discovery of four empty ammunition boxes at one of the retail chains in the city.

Nairobi police commander Benson Kibue confirmed that four empty ammunition boxes were discovered late Monday at the basement of Nakumatt Junction Supermarket in the city but refused to divulge more information on the discovery, Xinhua reported.

Kibue said the boxes were found abandoned on a trolley in the basement of the supermarket and the police suspect they might have stayed there for long.

Workers at the retail chain said the boxes have been at the basement since Sunday.

“We have not found the owners of the bullets and the destination of the bullets and for what motive they were to be used. We are investigating,” a senior police officer, who did not want to be named, said Tuesday.

The officer said investigators were looking for the bullets which they feared might be used to cause mayhem in the country.

“Each box contains 50 bullets. We fear the criminals wanted to use them to kill shoppers at the supermarket,” he said.

The police have called upon the business community operating in the city to cooperate and screen all cars and visitors entering their businesses in the city.

Workers at the supermarket said the attendants found the boxes when they were returning the trolleys to the premises but added that the police arrived at the scene and took the boxes away.

“We have increased patrols around the city to ensure Nairobians are safe. We are not taking any chances,” the police officer said.

The authorities have particularly warned against laxity in the screening of cars for explosives at all shopping malls and any business or social gatherings with at least 10 people at any given moment saying that these might be vulnerable to attacks.

Somali-based Al Shabaab militants have often claimed responsibility for terror attacks in Kenya saying these are in retaliation for the military incursions in their country.

Kenyan forces are fighting under the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

The same group in September last year seized a mall here and in that attack at least 62 people were killed.

IANS