Mombasa: Three women clad in buibui stormed Mombasa’s Central Police Station Sunday morning and launched a physical attack on the officers using knives.
Gun shots and an explosion were also heard in the premises, located at the center of the city, which was immediately cordoned off.
A witness said three women, who walked into the station pretending to report a stolen phone, brandished knives after they were barred from accessing the cells with one throwing a petrol bomb in an attempt to burn down the station. This sparked a police operation with officers from paramilitary General Service Unit being deployed at the station.
The attackers, believed to have been wearing suicide belts, were gunned down as police fought back.
Two police officers were rushed to hospital with injuries following the 10am attack.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that the attackers were attempting to free some prisoners held at the police station. Mombasa police boss Peterson Maelo, however, said the motive of the attack was not yet known and investigations were underway.
Pictures showed police officers on window of the first floor of the station while jumping off from the fire that had been started.
Top politicians led by Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho visited the scene and complimented police for their swift action.
County Commissioner Evans Achoki noted that there was a likely change of tactic by terror groups as it has not been usual for women to launch terror attcks.
Police spokesman Charles Owino says two of the women have been identified as Kenyans. One had a suicide vest that did not explode. Three female accomplices have been arrested from their Kibokoni residence in Mombasa.