UK updates travel advisory with warning about Durban ‘explosives’

The UK government has issued a warning to its citizens travelling to Durban to be aware of suspicious devices or packages, after several suspected incendiary devices were found around the city over the past few days.

“As of July 2018, police are investigating a series of incendiary devices placed at different locations in the Durban area. Two of these devices were triggered, causing small fires,” the advisory reads.

“You should exercise usual caution if you encounter unexpected devices or packages. If in doubt, contact the police.”

The information was added to its South Africa travel advice page on Thursday.

Read: KZN’s biggest mall working with police to probe suspicious devices amid security fears

It joins other advisories on issues such as the current Western Cape drought, protest action, high crime levels and a general warning that terrorists were “likely to try to carry out attacks in South Africa”.

On Monday, police control detonated a suspicious parcel at Wentworth Spar.

On Saturday, a suspicious device was found in a Woolworths store at Gateway Mall, also in Durban, and earlier in the week, similar devices were found at the same retail chain – one in Gateway Mall and one at The Pavilion.

The device found on Saturday, which appeared to be a cellphone attached to a pipe, did not explode.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, two explosive devices, under two separate vehicles, were found in the Berea area, police said.

South African bomb expert Willem Els told News24 this week that these types of self-made devices could cause serious harm and were the type of devices which account for 75% of casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq for example.

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Read more: Self-made ‘explosive devices’ found in Durban can cause serious harm – bomb expert

Els, an expert in crime scene handling and bomb disposal at the Institute of Security Studies, added that more suspicious devices could be planted freely in public places if the province failed to beef up its crime intelligence.

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