Fake bomb forces Air France emergency landing

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The news of the day has that Air France flight AF463 from Mauritius to Paris made an emergency landing to Mombasa due to a bomb scare. After hours of contrasting rumours, and an incorrect statement by Kenya Airports Authority saying the bomb was real, it has now been revealed that the suspected bomb was actually a fake, but resembling what could be a real one. The “bomb” was made of cardboard, with an attached timer. Airport security screening would not caught this item assuming it is assembled afterwards. Some pictures of the bomb have been circulating on the web (not sure if these are authentic).

Air France Boeing 777 at Mombasa Airport after the emergency landing. A Fly540 plane is boarding on the foreground.

While the incident has been described in the media as a “false alarm“, this quite isn’t the case.  The crew on board had a good reason to believe it could be a real bomb, possibly detonating any moment. An emergency landing to the nearest possible Airport was the only option. The crew probably did the right thing not telling the 459 passengers why an emergency landing. (UPDATE: this article by Daily Nation claims that the passengers did indeed know about the suspected bomb when the plane was landing)

But who is behind the fake bomb? A bad joke by a tourist? Serious warning by a terrorist group?  Whichever the case, let the culprit be caught and pay for this stupid act.






UK travel advise to Kenyan coast partially lifted

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The government of United Kindgdom has now partially lifted its advise against non-essential travel to the Kenyan coast. Tourist destinations including Lamu and Malindi are still under the advise  (Watamu resort just south of Malindi was left out), as are any areas close to the Somalian border, and Garissa, the town subject to a recent university attack. They also advise against visiting Eastleigh area in Nairobi, but no tourist is likely to go there anyway.

Prior to the latest ruling, Mombasa town and the coast strip north of it were included in the advise against non-essential travelling. The United States has similarly issued a travel warning on Kenya. This warnings have prompted much criticism by the Kenyan government blaming them for the downfall in tourism, not only to coastal Kenya but to the country as a whole.

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Crossing Kilindini by a cable car

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News items by Daily Nation, Capital FM, Business Daily and others reported today on plans to construct a cable car over the Likoni Creek in Mombasa, complementing the Ferry currently connecting Mombasa Island to the South Coast. First time hearing about this project, it should be ready by January 2017 (only a fool believes it will). Read the rest of this entry »