Kenyan police have arrested three men found with a suspected homemade bomb as they entered the country’s largest upscale shopping mall.
The device was later safely detonated in a controlled explosion.
“We have detained three men who were found with an improvised explosive device,” police chief Robinson Mboloi, who heads the capital’s Kasarani district where the Garden City Mall is located, said on Tuesday.
“Bomb disposal unit officers have detonated it and the area is now safe,” he added.
The Nairobi mall, which opened earlier this year, claims to be East Africa’s largest shopping centre.
Kenya has been hit by a string of attacks by Somali-led and al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels, who two years ago attacked Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall.
In that attack, the Islamists stormed in and massacred 67 shoppers and staff in four days of carnage, in retaliation for Kenya’s army being in Somalia.
The three men arrested on Tuesday were reported all to be Kenyans and were stopped together by officers at security checks going into the mall.
“The device was detected at the screening point and I thank the security for being swift in their work,” Mboloi said.
“They will be investigated to establish their links to terrorism and al-Shebab.”
Since Westgate, the Shebab have continued to strike on Kenyan soil, with an even bigger attack in April this year, when another four suicide attackers massacred 148 people in Kenya’s northeastern Garissa University, most of them students.