A prison warder has been killed and 14 other officers injured in a grenade attack in Mombasa as rioting by youths has been reported as spreading to the North Coast in the Kisauni, Mwandoni, Bakarani and Bamburi areas of the city, with barricades of burning tyres, stones and debris littering the streets following the shooting by unknown assailants on Tuesday of Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed.
Aboud Rogo was killed in a hail of bullets whilst driving his wife to hospital. Both she and Aboud Rogo’s father-in-law were injured in the attack that was witnessed by his daughter.
OFFICERS ATTACKED NEAR BURNING CHURCH
The officer killed in the grenade attack was part of a contingent of policemen who were on their way to Kisauni Presbyterian Church at Mwandoni which had been set on fire. It is reported that as the detachment reached the area they were confronted by rioting youths, a gun battle broke out and at this point a grenade was thrown into the back of the police vehicle.
Petrol bombs are reported to have been thrown at a bar in Majengo as well as at police cars in Kisauni and in another area a petrol station was set on fire.
It seemed that police had secured the centre of Mombasa but that rioting then spread to residential areas, a situation made worse by criminal gangs taking the opportunity to loot and steal.
Running battles are reported to have taken place in Saba Saba, Majengo, King’orani, Mwembe Tayari and Makupa Causeway.
The Standard also reports that rioters in Kisauni have ‘acquired guns and improvised explosives’.
Tension has again been heightened today as 22 youths arrested during the disturbances are due to appear in court.
PRESIDENT KIBAKI IN MOMBASA
Security in the area was increased for the arrival of President Kibaki last night. 200 officers from the Recce Squad are reported to have been moved to the area from Ruiru to support Government Service Units, local police and prison wardens.
The President had been due to receive a new naval ship, the Jasiri, and to open the Mombasa ASK Show today. Whether these events will now take place is yet to be seen.
LATER TODAY: THE RESPONSE TO THE MOMBASA RIOTS
EARLIER POSTING (BELOW): ‘KENYA LATEST NEWS: RIOTS IN MOMBASA AFTER ‘RADICAL’ CLERIC ABOUD ROGO MOHAMMED SHOT DEAD’