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Catherine Bond: 'Quite a lot of clues' in bomb probe

CNN's Catherine Bond
CNN's Catherine Bond

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MOMBASA, Kenya (CNN) -- Investigators are sifting through the rubble of a hotel bombed in an attack that killed 10 Kenyans and three Israelis on Thursday, searching for evidence that could help them determine who was responsible for the blast.

CNN's Catherine Bond in Mombasa, Kenya spoke to CNN anchor Kris Osborn in Atlanta, Georgia about the investigation.

BOND: There have been quite a lot of clues to look through. The police appear to have found the detonator to the bomb. I was actually standing next to a Kenyan investigator when he showed an American investigator from an embassy in this region what appeared to be the detonator to the bomb.

It looked like a manual detonator with a wire running down a metal sort of thin pole, metal wire, to a metal encasement. They looked at that, they put that in a bag with other samples, this was on Thursday, and they sent (the samples) off to the laboratory, and we are waiting to hear from forensics to see what the police have concluded.

Behind me, you may be able to see investigators still around the gate of the hotel. There are a couple of Israeli bomb experts who have been working here today with Kenyan investigators. One Kenyan investigator (tells) us that the real work is due to begin, so he felt that he was getting down to the nitty gritty after a couple of days ...

OSBORN: Well, Catherine, there have been a lot of reports about eyewitnesses and that they have been helpful to investigators. I imagine that being there on the scene you are hearing a lot from eyewitnesses, as well.

BOND: Yes, we had some very good eyewitness accounts of how the vehicle carrying the bombers drove up and down here for about 20 minutes before it crashed through the barrier, breaking through into the hotel and sweeping down in front of the hotel reception (area) and exploding.

I spoke to one or two people who said they had seen the three occupants, three young men. One person who I spoke to said one appeared to be Arab in appearance, that is how he described him, and another of African Arab descent, but he could not see the third man in the back of the vehicle because the vehicle had tinted windows.

The police are also getting some leads on that vehicle. It was a green four-wheel-drive vehicle. It had been purchased and brought into Kenya in 1991 and sold in 1998, and then remained with its owner. They are trying to, obviously, track down that owner and (learn) why this particular car was used for this attack.

OSBORN: Absolutely. I wanted to ask you as well about the woman who had an American passport. She and her husband are reportedly now free?

BOND: Yes, they are. An American woman who apparently lived here as a child, whose parents were diplomats in Kenya, returned to Kenya for a nostalgic holiday with her Spanish-speaking husband, and they checked out of a hotel quite close to here, just an hour and a half after the attack.

A reception staff (member) phoned the police because (police had asked hotels to) ... call if anybody checked out in a hurry. They checked out, and the police decided they wanted to question them because they were checking out shortly after the bomb attack happened here.



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