Kenya, Israel dispute over Mombassa attacks probe
Kenya will not heed Israeli demands to turn over some evidence in the attacks on an Israeli-owned hotel and an Israeli jetliner, saying Sunday it would conduct the probe alone.
The dispute threatened to delay the investigation into the suicide bombing Thursday of an Israeli-owned hotel and the failed downing of an Israeli charter jet moments earlier.
According to AP, Kenyan police officials said Israeli authorities want to take pieces from a four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Pajero that exploded outside the hotel.
Israel also wants the launchers and missile casings from shoulder-launched rockets believed used in the failed attempt to shoot down the Israeli charter plane.
"None of this evidence is going back to Israel. This evidence is our responsibility," said Charles Juma, a Kenyan bomb specialist.
Meanwhile, two fragments of the car bomb were Sunday recovered by police. The pieces of metal were found in the charred remains of the hotel at Kikambala, 25 kilometres north of Mombasa.
"These are parts of a welded gas cylinder; of course, it is part of the bomb," said Juma. One of the pieces had four numbers on it which could be used to identify the cylinder, he added.
The green Pajero used by the suicide bombers had been packed with 200 kg of explosives, Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz told a weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.
U.S. officials have said that a Somali-based group, Al Ittihad Al Islamiya - also as AIAI or the Islamic Union - may be connected to the attacks.
They said it was a prominent radical Islamist group in the Horn of Africa and had links with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network. However, investigations chief Mr Langat said Sunday: "We have no knowledge on any links yet to Al Itihad." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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