Manhunt For Kumasi Bomb Planters

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A joint police and military team in the Ashanti Region, is on the hunt for unidentified men, who planted explosives in two separate gas cylinders at the residence of the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Andy Osei Okrah, and in a national security installation, next to the Deputy Minister’s residence.

The Regional Minister, Alexander Ackonn, in a statement issued yesterday, said one of the canisters, could have exploded within two to three minutes, if the detonator had been ignited.

The minister said, experts were able to diffuse the explosives, before it could cause any damage.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, has urged residents of Kumasi to remain calm as the Police investigate the circumstances under which the explosives, were planted close to the residence of the Deputy Regional Minister.

The explosives, which were retrieved on Tuesday according to Mr. Ackon included “one timer device, one remote control, two explosive boosters, two safety fuses, two detonators and two dynamites”.

The statement further indicated that “the suspicion is that the suspects who were on motorbike were planting the device around the buildings as they escaped on being questioned by the Police Guard on duty at the Deputy Minister’s residence.”

“Possible conclusions by experts is that the first could have been ignited to explode and the second one to follow to create multiple explosions or if the motive was to create higher number of injuries/casualties/damages then to ignite the detonator to explode the dynamite, when people come around using remote control,” the statement added.

The statement also revealed that “a third cylinder was taken away on the motor bike according to the Police guard.”

Some military officers, including officials from the anti-bomb squad of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), returned to the site to retrieve the explosives.

The deputy Minister’s official bungalow in the Ashanti Regional capital, is close to the National Security Data Centre in the region.

Giving account of what happened, the minister, claimed the men who sat on a motorbike rode into the house which had the wife of a caretaker of the house, sitting under a tree outside.

The men had the cylinders with the detonators and were later confronted by a policeman in the house. Just when the policeman was asking questions, another man came from the house and dropped another box of cylinder with the detonators and fled.

The house, according to the Minister, is a thoroughfare and made it possible for the bike riders to ride in, drop the explosives and escape.

He said, the regional Security Council, has begun an investigation into the matter, but no arrests have yet been made.

The feisty investigations by the security personnel notwithstanding, some Ghanaians are treating the story of the explosives with cynicism.

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