Nairobi — Police in Mombasa on Monday night thwarted what could have been a major terrorist attack, after detaining a vehicle found with explosives. They also arrested two men of Somali origin, whom they believe were on a mission.
"We have arrested two suspects who were in the vehicle headed to town with explosives," Mombasa county CID boss Henry Ondiek told Capital FM News, adding "we don't know what place they were targeting but we had been tipped off that they were on a mission." Police said the men were arrested at Changamwe while headed to Mombasa town.
Following the arrest of the two, a major security operation was launched--including from the military to secure key areas. Mombasa police headquarters where the vehicle with explosives was sealed off by heavily armed police and military officers, before Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) officers were called in.
Security forces in the coastal city had been on a high alert since last month, when Al Shabaab militants warned of attacks in unspecified locations in various parts of the country. Kenya has suffered a series of terror attacks, mainly in towns at the Somalia border, Mombasa and the capital Nairobi where gunmen stormed an up market shopping mall in Westlands in September last year killing at least 67 people.
Military chief Julius Karangi later revealed they had killed the gunmen whose bodies were given to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for further analysis. Al Shabaab militants have often said the attacks are a retaliation of the military incursion in their country where Kenyan forces are fighting under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).