Embassy Bomb: Can I Get a Witness?

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NAIROBI: Investigators probing the U.S. embassy blast which killed 254 people last week will have to rely more on the painstaking search for forensic evidence than on "eyewitness" accounts. TIME reporter Clive Mutiso explains: "I arrived at the scene within moments of the blast and there was nothing there but death and destruction -- it's unlikely that any witnesses survived that bomb. But when I went back 90 minutes later, there were suddenly loads of 'eyewitnesses' -- none of them injured -- all telling anyone who'd listen exactly what happened."

Forensic evidence may be more reliable, but assembling it could take weeks or even months of sifting through the hundreds of tons of debris left by the blast. Investigators are trying to reassemble the mangled wreckage of automobiles destroyed by the bomb, and have asked the public to turn in any unusual bits of metal found in a three-block radius of the embassy. "This is going to take perspiration rather than inspiration," says Mutiso. "The investigators have settled in for the long haul."