Kenyan police arrest suspect in Mombasa grenade attack


A man has been arrested after a grenade attack killed a woman and wounded several people outside a night club in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa, said police said.

The attack on Tuesday at the Bella Vista sports bar in the heart of Mombasa, a popular holiday destination for Kenyans and foreigners, was the latest in a string of attacks since Kenya sent troops into Somalia to crush Islamist militants.

Nairobi has blamed the Somali al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants for the violence, which is threatening tourism, a foreign exchange earner for east Africa’s biggest economy.
“We have arrested one suspect in connection with the attack in Mombasa and police have launched a hunt for other suspects,” Eric Kiraithe, Kenya’s police spokesman, told Reuters.

Police said the suspect was lightly wounded during the grenade attack. Television pictures showed him chained to a hospital bed with armed police at his bedside.

The suspect told reporters he was innocent, saying he was passing the club when the attack took place.

Police said several men tried to force their way into the club but were barred by guards. They then shot at random and hurled explosive devices. A guard at the club died of her wounds.

Meanwhile, police charged a man in Nairobi with detonating a grenade in a Nairobi church which killed one worshipper and wounded 16 people in late April.

Ibrahim Kibe Kagwa pleaded not guilty to being a member of a criminal gang, the Islamist militants al Shabaab, and five other counts of causing grievous harm to six worshippers.

A judge ordered him to be remanded in custody until June 20 when his case will be heard.

Kenya has increased security in Mombasa.

The country is forecasting that earnings from tourism – one of its big three hard currency sources – will fall this year, in part because of travel warnings over the threat from Somali militants.