| MOMBASA, Kenya, June 22
MOMBASA, Kenya, June 22 Kenyan police said on
Friday they had arrested two Iranians after they seized
chemicals they suspected were going to be used to make
explosives in Mombasa, which has been hit by a series of
The port city, the capital Nairobi and other parts of Kenya
have suffered a series of grenade attacks since Kenya sent
troops into Somalia last year to try to crush al Shabaab
insurgents it blames for a surge in violence and kidnappings
threatening tourism in east Africa's biggest economy.
Police arrested the Iranians on Wednesday in Nairobi. On the
same day, police impounded a container in Mombasa originating
from Iraq and suspected to be carrying explosives.
On Thursday, police flew one of the suspects to Mombasa,
where he led police to recover 15 kg of powder, which security
experts took to their laboratory for testing.
"They are cooperating well. They are giving us key
information that might help us reduce terrorist attacks in the
country," Ambrose Munyasia, a senior police officer at the Coast
region told Reuters.
"We want to find out whether these substances are linked to
any terror groups, including al Shabaab, al Qaeda and any other
group," Aggrey Adoli, Coast provincial police officer, added.
Francis Kimemia, Kenya's acting head of civil service who
was in Mombasa, said the government had sought the help of
international agencies such the FBI and Interpol in helping deal
with security threats.
"We have been working with them in terms of identifying
criminals. We cannot fight terrorism alone. You have to work
with other partners and other state organs," he said.
In the most recent attack, a bomb exploded in a trading
centre in the heart of Nairobi in late May, wounding more than
30 people. One person later died from their
Gunmen also detonated grenades outside a nightclub in
Mombasa in May, killing one person and wounding several others.
Al Shabaab seeks to impose a strict version of sharia,
Islamic law. The group emerged as a force in 2006 as part of a
movement that pushed U.S.-backed warlords out of Somalia's
At present it also has hundreds of foreign fighters in its
(Editing by George Obulutsa and Alison Williams)