IS be­hind Mombasa at­tack by robed women

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Page Title -

MOMBASA — Is­lamic State sup­port­ers car­ried out an at­tack on Kenya’s port city of Mombasa in which three robed women tricked their way into a po­lice sta­tion, stabbed an of­fi­cer and set fire to the build­ing, the group’s Amaq news agency said on Tues­day.

Mil­i­tant at­tacks, mostly claimed by al-Shabaab mil­i­tants from neigh­bour­ing So­ma­lia, have in­creased in re­cent years in Kenya, which has a large Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion con­cen­trated mostly along its In­dian Ocean coast.

But po­lice said in May they had ar­rested mil­i­tants linked to Is­lamic State, a group which has seized ar­eas of Iraq and Syria and in­spired off­shoot groups in the Mid­dle East and Africa.

“The per­pe­tra­tors of the at­tack on the Kenyan po­lice in the city of Mombasa were sup­port­ers of Is­lamic State. They ex­e­cuted the op­er­a­tion in re­sponse to calls to tar­get cru­sader states,” the agency af­fil­i­ated to Is­lamic State reported.

Sun­day’s at­tack in Mombasa ap­peared to be the first claimed by the group on Kenyan soil. In the Mombasa as­sault, the three women were shot dead. Po­lice said they re­cov­ered an un­ex­ploded sui­cide vest from one of the at­tack­ers.

When sus­pected Is­lamic State mil­i­tants were de­tained in May, ex­perts said Kenya’s fo­cus on dis­man­tling al Shabaab cells may have al­lowed sym­pa­this­ers of Is­lamic State to slip un­der the radar.

But they said it was not clear whether such sym­pa­this­ers had for­mal links to Is­lamic State in Syria or Iraq, or were sim­ply of­fer­ing al­le­giance.

Al Shabaab has said it tar­gets Kenya, a ma­jor­ity Christian na­tion, for send­ing its troops into So­ma­lia as part of an African force to bat­tle the Is­lamist in­sur­gents. It of­ten says it will con­tinue at­tacks un­til the Kenyan “cru­saders” leave. — AFP

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