Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • French journalist tells of release from captivity in Syria

    Read more

  • South Korea ferry captain defends decision to delay evacuation

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

Africa

Kenyan security minister killed in helicopter crash

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-10

Kenya's minister for internal security George Saitoti, his deputy and four others were killed in a helicopter crash outside Nairobi, the government said Sunday. Saitoti was expected to run for president in next year's election.

AFP - Kenya's Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, who planned to run for the presidency next year, was killed Sunday with five others in a police helicopter crash near Nairobi, officials said.

Saitoti, a veteran politician of 66, was a key figure in his country's fight against Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab insurgents in neighbouring Somalia.

He died along with Joshua Orwa Ojode, the assistant minister for internal security, the two pilots -- including a woman -- and two bodyguards when the helicopter came down in the Ngong hills outside the capital.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga paid tribute to Saitoti, who played a prominent role in the campaign against Somali insurgents, blamed for a series of terror attacks and kidnappings on Kenyan soil.

"The government will ensure a thorough probe" into the cause of the crash, Odinga told journalists at the crash site.

Saitoti was on his way to attend a religious ceremony in western Kenya when the Eurocopter came down in the Kibuku forest around 8:30 am (0530 GMT) shortly after taking off from Nairobi's Wilson airport.

An AFP journalist on the scene saw six bodies charred beyond recognition being removed from the wreckage. The helicopter was entirely destroyed. Wads of bank notes lay scattered at the crash site.

Investigators from the police, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority sealed off the scene to try and establish the cause of the accident.

"Most probably it was caused by bad weather, it was foggy at the time it went down," a police officer involved in the investigation told AFP.

Another police source said Kenya had acquired the aircraft, which was fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, just five months ago.

A witness at the scene described the helicopter as having "hovered up there and looked like it was turning back" before coming down.

Another witness, farmer Ole Tolei, told AFP that he had seen the aircraft "flying very low. It came down suddenly and we heard a loud explosion, and then it burst into flames."

Saitoti's ministerial role meant he controlled the state's top investigative arms, the National Security Intelligence Service and the Criminal Investigation Department.

Kenya sent thousands of troops into southern Somalia in October last year to fight the Shebab and protect its border. It was Saitoti who made the first public announcement of the invasion, a full two days after Kenyan troops crossed the border.

The Kenyan force has since been joined by Ethiopia in a bid to rout the Islamist group from their strongholds in the south and centre of the country.

Since Kenyan troops entered Somalia, several people have been killed in a series of bomb attacks in border areas, and a bomb in a Nairobi shopping centre last month wounded 38 people.

But Saitoti declared recently that the government would not be cowed by "terrorists".

Saitoti had announced that he was standing as a candidate to succeed Kibaki in the 2013 presidential election.

On Sunday, Kibaki paid tribute to those killed.

The deaths were "a devastating loss to our country," he said in a statement.

"Minister Saitoti will forever be remembered as a hardworking and determined public servant who dedicated his time to the service of the Kenyan people," he said.

Saitoti had also served as finance minister and he was vice-president in the administration of Daniel Arap Moi from 1989-1997 and again from 1999-2002.

He jumped ship ahead of the 2002 elections to join the opposition camp led by Mwai Kibaki after Moi, constitutionally barred from standing again, chose the then little-known Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's founding father, as his successor.
 

Date created : 2012-06-10

  • KENYA

    Manhunt underway after Nairobi ‘terrorist’ attack

    Read more

  • KENYA

    Six top Kenyans await ICC ruling over election violence

    Read more

  • HORN OF AFRICA

    Kenyan air raid kills scores of Somali insurgents

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)