One dead in Mombasa grenade bar attack

MOMBASA, Kenya, Jun 24 – At least one person was killed and several others wounded in a hand grenade attack on a bar in Mombasa on Sunday, a day after the US embassy in Kenya warned of an imminent attack on the city.

“The attack occurred at about 10pm. One person has died and we have three others seriously injured,” Coast Provincial Police Officer Aggrey Adoli said.

“Many people have been injured, I saw one area of the bar blown off before I started running away,” said a witness George Lado who resides in the area.

“I wish I had a nice phone with a camera as I could have taken good pictures as events unfolded.”

The incident occurred at ‘Jericho Beer Garden’ in Mushomoroni,’ a joint frequented by locals, some seven kilometres north of Mombasa island.

The attack came barely hours after the government wrote a protest note to the US embassy in Nairobi over the advisory it issued to its citizens Saturday against traveling to Mombasa.

“It is a reckless advisory and it was totally uncalled for,” Acting Head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia told a media conference in Mombasa on Sunday.

He termed the advisory an act of “economic sabotage.”

“It is aimed at sabotaging the country’s economy,” he said, at a press conference where he was accompanied by Tourism Minister Dan Mwazo.

In the protest note delivered Sunday, Kenya made it clear it wants the advisory reversed.

“We have written to them to reverse the decision,” Kimemia said, adding “The government has the capacity to contain the terror threats in our country.”

The decision was taken after some hotels in Mombasa reported that they had experienced cancellations from tourists, raising fears the trend was likely to continue thus hampering the country’s economy.

The US issued a travel advisory to its citizens on Saturday following intelligence reports of an impending terror threat in Mombasa which it said was likely to be experienced until July 1.

“This is to alert all US citizens in Kenya, or planning to travel to Kenya in the near future, that the US Embassy in Nairobi has received information of an imminent threat of a terrorist attack in Mombasa, Kenya,” the US advisory said.

“All US government travel to Mombasa is suspended until July 1, 2012.”

France’s embassy in Nairobi also warned its citizens to be “extremely vigilant” in Mombasa and the surrounding area.

Since Kenya invaded southern Somalia in October 2011 to help oust Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab insurgents, it has seen a wave of grenade attacks and kidnappings of foreign tourists blamed on the Shabaab or their supporters.

Meanwhile, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka assured Sunday that the country’s security forces were on high alert to ensure the country does not suffer any terror attacks.

He called on foreign countries to be sensitive to Kenyans interest while issuing travel alerts against the country noting that they were hurting the country’s economy.

In an apparent reference to the US advisory, the Vice President asked tourists intending to visit the country to ignore such alerts and continue with their plans without fear.

“As a country we cannot allow even for a minute to be held at ransom by claims of terror threat. Tourists should ignore travel advisories and visit our country,” he said at a church service in Kathiani.

  • Emmanuel Dennis

    Francis Kimemia and the entire Government should have sought more intelligence information as it turns out the Americans have a more superior intelligence system that trails terrorist activities. Kenya’s security Agencies should know that this attacks will continue to hurt the economy. Who cleared what Kimemia said. This may turn out to be a diplomatic tussle. My heart goes to the wounded ant the family that has lost their loved ones.

  • John

    Poleni wakenya!

  • Tom Kasuku

    This terrorists must be defeated, they are cowards who go attacking ordinary citizens. Attack your equals if you are real men!

  • Nazir

    A terrorist by the name of Mr. Mo is hiding inside my body. Help me get rid of him fast.

  • upuzi_tele

    What is kimemia saying? he is part of the useless corrupt goverment that has failed to bring security to its citizens. America is only helping it citizens to avoid being killed in Kenya.

  • JeffM

    Ignorance
    is bliss my friends. Give credit where it is due. It was in fact the
    Kenyan security services who alerted the US Govt to the terror plot, NOT
    the other way round. The US Govt went ahead to stab Kenya in the back
    by issuing public alerts to its citizens and in effect sabotaging
    Kenya’s economy.

    Secondly, this bomb blast was in Mishomoroni, a slum area of Mombasa.
    US tourists are not known to visit bars in Mishomoroni so they could
    not have been the target. The alert therefore has nothing to do with the
    blast and common sense is called for here, not misguided emotion and
    uncalled for criticism of Kenya’s hardworking intelligence services.

  • GIDDY

    this very wanting for security of kenya God help us and not government of kenya or USA