Kenyan police shot and killed three men suspected of planning militant attacks in Mombasa, ahead of national day celebrations in the city this month, according to a senior official.
The suspects were killed in a raid on a house in Majengo Mapya, a suburb in the city’s south, said Paul Leting, director of criminal investigations in the coast region. Seven other suspects were detained.
“The house was a hideout for planning attacks and other criminal activities,” Leting told journalists at a press conference.
Weapons including a grenade, 1 700 rounds of ammunition, a rifle and 15 pistol holders were seized in the raid, Leting said. Police recovered two bullet-proof jackets, Quran journals, police and military uniforms, military face masks, eight machetes and gun oil.
Security sources who asked not to be identified said the slain suspects were on Kenya’s terrorism watch-list and had been trailed for some time.
A terrorism alert from police last month warned fighters from the al Shabaab Islamist group in Somalia were planning attacks on targets including churches, universities, hospitals and schools in Kenya’s coastal region.
Leting did not say if the suspects were connected to al Shabaab. Shabaab fighters frequently launch attacks in Kenya’s north, capital Nairobi and the coast, to press Kenya to withdraw its troops from Somalia, where they are part of a peacekeeping force.