NAIROBI Police killed three people trying to steal a truck near a United Nations complex and the nearby U.S. embassy in Nairobi on Wednesday, police said, but staff at both sites said they were continuing with normal business soon afterwards.
Many Kenyans and foreigners in Nairobi have been vigilant since Islamist gunmen attacked the Westgate shopping mall in the capital in September last year, leaving at least 67 people dead. Other attacks have targeted Nairobi and other areas since then.
Initial news of the incident provoked twitter traffic - a symptom of nervousness that still prevails. But it later proved to be an apparent criminal incident.
"Police were trailing some criminals who wanted to carjack a lorry carrying electronics. Our officers were following them in a car and when they intercepted the criminals, they started firing at the officers," Nairobi Deputy Police Commander Moses Ombati said, adding three were fatally injured.
He said there was no danger to the nearby U.N. compound.
In an SMS message, U.N. staff were told: "Recent shootout on Limuru road happened when police were chasing criminals involved in a lorry carjacking attempt."
One U.N. worker on site said he was working as usual.
A U.S. official said embassy staff had been told of gunshots and police activity near the embassy but were told to return to normal activity. One witness in the area said there was no signs of unusual movement as he drove through the area.
(Reporting by Drazen Jorgic and James Macharia; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Mark Heinrich)