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Terror alert issued in Mombasa

23 August 2013, 08:46

Mombasa -Police on Thursday issued a major terrorism alert in the tourism city of Mombasa after intelligence reports indicated that Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab may be planning an attack next week.

Regional police commander Robert Kitur told journalists they have received information that the militants are planning a major attack on the anniversary of the late Muslim cleric Sheik Aboud Rogo.

"Security apparatus have been put on higher alert. From today, there will be concentrating at crowded areas which are most prone to terrorism attacks," Kitur said and reaffirmed that security agencies have been beefed up.

Kitur said that the information has been widely shared among key security agencies to curb the planned attack and appealed to residents to be extra vigilant, especially in crowded areas, and share information with security agencies.

Mombasa, is the country's second largest city and a major tourist spot and one of the cities hit by grenade attacks and the abductions of foreigners in recent months.

The East African nation's coastal towns are the backbone of the country's thriving tourism industry, which has been shadowed amid fears of terror attacks and the kidnapping of foreigners by Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants from resorts near the border with Somalia.

The controversial Islamic preacher, who was facing charges of illegal possession of weapons and recruiting for the Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab, was shot death in his car on August 27, 2012 while he was driving outside Mombasa.

Violent riots erupted afterwards at Mombasa's town center and continued for a week. Cars were set alight, several churches were vandalized. At least five people were killed.

Intelligence sources said four Al-Shabaab fighters crossed into the Kenya two weeks ago from Somalia, warning of a possible suicide bomb and sporadic grenade attacks by the militants attempting to target hotels and other key installations. 


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