Thursday, October 18, 2012

Death toll in latest Mombasa security raid rises to three -


MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- Death toll from the major security operation which was conducted in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa has risen to three after a policeman succumbed to injuries in a grenade attack.
Regional police commander Aggrey Adoli told a news conference in Mombasa on Wednesday that two terror suspects had earlier been killed in the dawn security crackdown on suspected Al-Shabaab militants in the coastal city.
He said eight policemen who were injured in the grenade attacks during the 3 a.m. raid in Likoni area, are still nursing injuries in the hospital.
"The police officers had arrested a terror suspect at Changamwe who had led police to the house where they were attacked.
"During the raid a suspect who was in the house hauled grenades to our officers and opened fire, seriously injuring nine," Adoli said.
He said two Al-Shabaab terror suspects were also killed during the operation by the grenade.
The officers were rushed to hospital and are receiving treatment.
"Four of the police officers are in critical condition.
"Police recovered a pistol, an AK47 rifle, two grenades from the house," the regional police commander said.
Sources said the suspect is said to have declined orders to open the door forcing the police to use extra force to get access to the house.
The suspect is then said to have hurled a grenade at the police officers, killing his accomplice on the spot and injuring 10 police officers on the spot.
Adoli noted that a combined team of officers are still combing the area with reports that more arms could be hidden in the house.
"We heard gunshots at around 3.00 a.m. and loud explosion, an indication that the officers were battling with militia," eye witnesses Mwagomba Juma said.
Coastal town of Mombasa has in the past experienced terror attacks carried out by members of Al-Shabaab group.
The authorities have warned of a possible terror attack in the country since the capture of port of Kismayo, a strong-hold of Al- Shabaab in Somalia, by the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF).
"It’s a major breakthrough in the war on terror although our officers have been injured in the raid which was carried out at night in Likoni," Adoli said.
He said the raid was conducted in Likoni, south of Mombasa following a tip-off from members of the public.
The incident came at a time when the government has declared war on the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) group and other groups that threaten the security of the country.
Mombasa, the country’s second largest city and a major tourist spot, is one of various cities targeted by a series of grenade attacks and abduction of foreigners in recent months.
Western nations have already warned its citizens to be "extremely vigilant" in Mombasa.
The East African nation’s coastal towns are the backbone of the country’s thriving tourism industry, which has been hit by the fear of terror attacks and the kidnapping of foreigners by Somali pirates from resorts near the border with Somalia.
Police have particularly warned against the laxity in the screening of cars for explosives at all shopping malls and any business or social gatherings with at least 10 people at any given moment that these might be vulnerable to attacks.
Kenya’s tourism has suffered a decline in tourist arrivals since September 2011 when the Somali militant group, the Al- Shabaab, carried out the kidnappings of tourists in the Lamu archipelago and the kidnapping of the Spanish volunteers.
The port city, the capital Nairobi and other parts of Kenya have suffered a series of grenade attacks since Kenya sent troops into Somalia a year ago to try to pursue Al-Shabaab insurgents it blames for a surge in violence and kidnappings threatening tourism.

Mombasa security operation kills two
terror suspects and injures 10 police
MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- At least two terror suspects were killed and 10 police officers were injured on Wednesday in a dawn security operation to flush out criminals in the coastal city of Mombasa.
Regional Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Commander Ambrose Munyasia said that during the operation in Likoni area of the city, criminals hurled grenades to the police officers.
Munyasia, who has dispatched more police officers to the scene, said ammunition was discovered in a house.
"The police managed to kill two people whom we believe to be Al-Shabaab suspects.
"The operation is still on and we will release more details later but there is a major achievement," regional police commander Aggrey Adoli told Xinhua by telephone.
The operation came as the police intensified crackdown on members of secessionist groups following a spate of insecurity incidents across the coastal city.
Some members of the secessionist group Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) attacked and killed a local government official in Kwale, a small town in the southwest of Mombasa, in retaliation for the arrest of their group leader Omar Mwamnwadzi on Monday.
Adoli said the police were following crucial leads to bring to book those involved in the killing, warning that the government would combat firmly organized criminal groups and take unspecified actions directly towards the MRC in the next few days.
On Oct. 4, members of the group armed with machetes attacked and injured Kenyan Minister of Fisheries Development Amason Jeffah Kingi, and killed his bodyguard and three others during a political rally in the coastal town of Mtwapa.
The group members, who say they are not Kenyans, have been agitating for secession, vowing that no elections would take place in the coastal region where they are based.
Analysts said the country is facing challenges related to resurgence of militant groups such as the MRC, potential threats such groups will pose to the forthcoming election, and internal risks from external war on the Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
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