Police in Mombasa on Sunday shot and killed a terrorist suspect they said was behind a spate of criminal activities including the killing of tourists in Old Town in June and July.
The killing happened during the 4 a.m raid at the suspect’s home in Bondeni area after police had trailed the suspect for months, Mombasa County police commander Robert Kitur, said.
“When officers entered the house, the suspect climbed into the ceiling where he tried to throw a grenade at the police before they responded and killed him,” kitur said.
“We believe there were two suspects, and it seems one escaped, and we are looking for him as well.”
The slain suspect identified as Ismael Mohammed is said have been a frequent visitor to Somalia where Kitur claimed he was planning and coordinating terrorism activities.
“We have been looking for him for months and each time we got close, he escaped our dragnet,” Kitur said, adding that they recovered a grenade from him.
He added that the suspect was also behind the attacks and killing of a German and Russian tourists in Mombasa’s Old Town in June July, attacks which he said bore the marks of terrorists who they said were out to portray Mombasa as unsafe for tourists.
The country is still reeling from the killing of at least 65 people in Lamu and Tana River counties in June and July which al shabaab militants claimed responsibility for.
The attacks have hurt the country’s tourism with industry players saying this could be its second worst year in performance since 2007-2008 when post election violence left over 1000 dead and tourism badly bruised.