Three robed women tricked their way into a Mombasa police station where they stabbed one officer and set fire to the building with a petrol bomb before being shot dead, the local police commander said on Sunday.
The city of Mombasa on the coast of Kenya with a large Muslim population, has been targeted by Islamist militants in recent years although the frequency of attacks have subsided.
Under the pretext of reporting a stolen phone, the women walked into the police station on Saturday morning, a knife and petrol bomb concealed in their traditional Buibui robes.
“At 1030am three women in Buibui attire went to central police station to report about a stolen phone. While the officers were questioning them about the particulars of place where the phones were stolen, one of them immediately drew a knife whereas the other one threw a petrol bomb to the report office personnel. The station caught fire and police reaction lead to the three being shot. Three officers, I mean two officers, were injured. They are in hospital. One had a broken limb, the other one got injured on his arm,” Mombasa County Police Commander, Patterson Maelo, said.
Maelo did not say which group he suspected the attackers belonged to.
Police bomb squad officers were preparing to detonate the explosives recovered from the three dead, and people who had been detained at the attacked station for other crimes were being moved offsite by officers.
Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab has taken responsibility for attacks in Mombasa and other parts of Kenya, saying it was in retaliation for the East African country sending its troops to Somalia.
Al Shabaab was behind an attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall that killed 67 people on September 21, 2013, and a raid on Garissa university in the northeast that killed 148 in April 2015. The militants also launched several attacks in 2014 that left more than 100 dead in Lamu County region.