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Monday, 2 December, 2002, 18:10 GMT
Tensions over Kenya attack inquiry
Investigators search site of hotel blast
Israel has vowed to track down the organisers
Signs are emerging of tensions between Israeli and Kenyan officials investigating last week's terror attacks against Israeli targets near Mombasa.


If this was Great Britain or the US or France or any other Western country, it would have been easier to conduct an investigation

Raanan Gissin, senior Israeli adviser
An Israeli investigator complained that Kenya was not co-operating fully with the inquiry, according to the head of the Kenyan team, amid reports of differences over who controls key evidence.

A senior adviser to the Israeli prime minister has said Kenya lacks the facilities and expertise to properly investigate Thursday's attacks.

Sixteen people, including three suicide bombers, were killed in the attack on the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel, north of Mombasa. A missile attack on an Israeli passenger plane failed.

Open in new window : Kenya attacks
Click here to see images of the attacks in Kenya

Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi is preparing to travel to the United States, where he will meet President George Bush and other senior officials.

Material evidence

Kenya is leading the investigation, but Israeli and US experts are also involved in the search for clues.

"If this was Great Britain or the US or France or any other Western country, it would have been easier to conduct an investigation," said Raanan Gissin, senior adviser to Israeli leader Ariel Sharon.

President Moi next to the missile launchers used to fire at the plane
Moi will hold talks with Bush this week
"Most of the work must be done by our investigators and the US team," he said.

There also seems to have been a disagreement over the handling of material evidence.

The head of the Kenyan team, William Langat, said an Israeli investigator had complained that officers had refused to hand over some specimens.

But Mr Langat said he had not seen a formal request for the evidence.

"We are prepared to share everything provided the right procedures are used," Mr Langat said.

Ten questioned

New details of the hotel attack have emerged, with a farmer living close to the scene saying that he unwittingly chatted to the bombers minutes before they drove their explosives-packed car at the Paradise Hotel.

Aerial footage of the Paradise Hotel
Bombers killed 13 at the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel

Khamis Haro Deche described seeing two Arabs inside the car, one of whom spoke to him after they parked briefly in his farmyard, close to the hotel.

The suspects said they were waiting for a third man coming from the Paradise Hotel up the road.

Soon after they drove off, and minutes after the failed anti-aircraft missile attack at the city's airport, the bombers rammed the car into the hotel.

Kenyan authorities are still questioning 10 people detained in connection with the attacks.

Those detained, six people allegedly from Pakistan and four from Somalia, say they are shark fishermen whose boat had become waterlogged. They have still not been charged.

Israel has named the Islamic militant network al-Qaeda as a prime suspect in the attacks because of their relative sophistication.

But Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz admitted there was no "concrete" evidence of a link to the group.

'Terror talks'

President Moi is due to meet President Bush in Washington on Thursday.

The Kenyan leader has reportedly accused the West of failing to provide adequate support for Kenya after the Mombasa attacks.

An official in Mr Moi's office told Reuters that his trip had been planned before the attacks but was always intended to focus on the US-led war on terror.

Regional diplomats say that Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi will take part in the talks.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Ade Akintonwa
"The search for those responsible continues"

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See also:

02 Dec 02 | Africa
29 Nov 02 | Media reports
29 Nov 02 | Politics
29 Nov 02 | Africa
30 Nov 02 | South Asia
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