Police officers to escort ferries at the Likoni channel

Police officers to escort ferries at the Likoni channel

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Commuters at the Ferry. FILE/PHOTO.

Mombasa,KENYA:Armed police officers will now be deployed to escort all ferry vessels crossing the Likoni channel, security authorities revealed on Saturday.

This follows intelligence reports that militant group al-shabaab is planning an attack at the channel.

At peak time, Kenya Ferry serves more than 12,000 passengers per hour.

Mombasa County Commissioner Mohammed Maalim said Mombasa is a main target for al-shabaab terrorists therefore there is need to heighten security.

“You have heard me severally talking about Mombasa being one of the destinations that has been mention to be a target by the terror group,” said Mr. Maalim.

Speaking after meeting more than 50 Directors of private security firms in the county, the Commissioner also urged the security firms to equip their staff with sophisticated scanning gadgets to be used at the busy channel.

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“We have agreed with management that they’re going to have hand held metal scanners so that every vehicle is subjected to thorough screening. Remember you have one thousand commuters boarding that ferry at any given time then you allow vehicles to board which could be carrying dangerous weapons or even explosives,” he said.

The County Commissioner also warned private security firms against using uniform similar to security forces.