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Deadly blast rips through Kenyan city of Mombasa

© AFP (Archives)

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-04

At least three people were killed and several others were wounded after a grenade was thrown into a crowd in the Mwembe Tayari area in the heart of Mombasa, police said.

A second blast was caused by an IED (improvised explosive device) near the well-known Reef Hotel at Nyali beach north of the city center. There were no casualties in the second blast, according to the police official.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Kenya has been hit in the recent past by gun and grenade attacks in Mombasa and in the capital Nairobi, which the government has blamed on the al Qaeda-linked Somali group al Shabaab.

Muslim-majority Mombasa, one of the main gateways to east Africa, has been hit by a wave of sectarian violence in recent months, with the city being rocked by a string of attacks or attempted attacks.

Kenyan authorities have been engaged in a major crackdowns against Islamists, including hardline clerics, suspected of links with al Shabaab or of recruiting fighters for the Somali militant group.

Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the September 2013 attack on the upscale Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, which killed at least 67 people.

Tensions have been high in the Kenyan coastal city over the past few months following a shooting at a church in Likoni, near Mombasa, in March, which left six worshippers dead.

Days later, a local firebrand Islamist cleric and vocal al Shabaab supporter was gunned down near Mombasa, sparking riots in the city.

There has been a spate of attacks against Islamist preachers suspected of having al Shabaab links. The mysterious killings of clerics have prompted allegations that Kenyan police are carrying out extrajudicial killings.

In August 2012, deadly riots broke out in Kenya’s second-largest city after a local cleric, Aboud Rogo Mohammed, was killed.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS and AFP)
 

Date created : 2014-05-03

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