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Friday, 29 November, 2002, 12:08 GMT
Aftermath at Paradise Hotel
Kenyan soldier keeps people away from the site
Investigation: The Israelis and US are helping Kenya

The debris from the Paradise Hotel crunches underfoot as you walk through what used to be the entrance arch.

Detectives were out scouring the rubble of the Paradise Hotel shortly after daybreak on Friday, the first full day of the investigation.

Kenyan police are drawing on the expertise of American and Israeli security agents.

During Thursday night there was a dramatic airlift of the Israelis caught up in the bombing.


I was thinking about how life will be in Kenya now, because so many people now have lost their job. I'm feeling very bad.

Local Kenyan
As I discovered late on Thursday night, some of the survivors were already preparing for evacuation.

Two Israeli survivors arrived in a hurry, wanting to see if any of their belongings had been salvaged.

They became frustrated when the Kenyan officer in charge turned down their request.

Explaining the urgency, one of them said the Israeli Government had sent army aircraft to whisk home the survivors in the next few hours.

Shock and worry

A van full of Kenyan police officers roared down the quiet village lanes - the hunt is now on for those who planned the attacks on the hotel and on the Israeli passenger plane.

Israeli tourists wait at the hotel after the blast
Evacuated: More than 200 Israelis, including some of the injured.
Kenyans are shocked but also worried.

One local man, Golago Mosai, said jobs were already hard to find in an area where tourism is the main employer.

"What I was thinking is about how the life will be in Kenya now, because so many people now have lost their job. I'm feeling very bad".

But the coast is also home to many of Kenya's Muslims.

Some of the more radical elements demonstrated in support of Osama Bin Laden after the 11 September attacks in America.

Mombasa resident David Moganda said those extremists were utterly misguided.

"For the Kenyans to support the terrorists which are the al-Qaeda, is not good - it's very bad," he told me.

Air of unreality

Holidaymakers dragged their suitcases into the Sun and Sand Hotel.

It's next door to the Paradise, and popular with British tourists. The management here said as yet there had been no cancellations.

David Patten from Newcastle saw the explosion from a fishing boat in the Indian Ocean and immediately rushed back to shore.

Israeli tourist is comforted by her husband in Kenyan hospital
More than a dozen Israelis were injured in the attack

"I went to see my girlfriend and to give her a big kiss. I have just never been so pleased to see someone in my life. For the first few hours after, it was really nerve-racking. It was just awful".

Two women from Leeds were queuing for the telephone. Like many here, Brenda Verity and Jennifer Hepworth were contacting relatives to assure them they were safe.

But they had no plans to abandon their holiday.

"We haven't thought about going home and I think it's a bit foolish to panic", one of them told me.

While the other said: "We're thinking - well it's happened now, so maybe things will be quiet for a while here".

Despite the devastating attack next door, the evening's entertainment went ahead as planned.

But there was an air of unreality as holidaymakers relaxed over dinner.

The real implications of the bombing and its consequences for the global fight against terrorism are just beginning to sink in.


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23 Nov 02 | Country profiles
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