Two bomb blasts heighten tension in Zanzibar after disputed vote

Updated 01 Nov 2015

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ZANZIBAR CITY: Military and police investigators collect evidence for forensic analysis at the site of the explosion.—AFP
ZANZIBAR CITY: Military and police investigators collect evidence for forensic analysis at the site of the explosion.—AFP

DAR ES SALAAM: Two bombs exploded minutes apart in the main city on Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago on Saturday without causing casualties, police and witnesses said, adding to tensions on the islands after a disputed election.

Tanzania held national elections on Sunday, which included a vote for local authorities in Zanzibar, traditionally a bastion of opposition to the central government.

But Zanzibar’s election commission annulled the vote for the island’s president, citing “gross violations”. The opposition rejected the move, saying it had won that poll. Police arrests several angry youths after the decision.

“Two bombs went off this morning within a space of 10 minutes from each other. No one was killed or injured,” a Zanzibar police commander, Mkadam Khamis Mkadam, said, adding it was in a residential area of Zanzibar City, which lies on the main island of the archipelago.

Mkadam said they were “home-made” devices and said a mobile phone used to detonate one had been found. Another explosive device was found in another district on Friday, but was destroyed in a controlled explosion, he added.

Witnesses also reported two blasts a few minutes apart.

Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2015

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