Aussies warned on Kenya travel

NAIROBI – Militants may be planning attacks on nightclubs and other spots popular with foreign tourists visiting the Kenyan city of Mombasa, the Australian government said in a travel alert today.

A spokesman for Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said visitors to the coastal city were safe, and the government viewed such warnings as “unnecessary and uncalled for”.

Kenya has been on heightened alert since gunmen from the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab raided an upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi last month, hurling grenades and spraying bullets at shoppers. At least 67 people were killed in the four-day siege that began on September 21. Al Shabaab said it launched the attack to punish Kenya for sending troops to fight it inside Somalia.

“Information of late October 2013 indicates extremists may be planning attacks on nightclubs and other places frequented by foreigners along Malindi Road in Mombasa,” said an alert on Smart Traveller, the Australian government’s travel advice website. It did not say which group or groups might be involved.

Presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu said Kenyan security forces had always acted on information about threats against foreigners and had prevented attacks in the past.

Kenyam“Specifically in Mombasa’s case we’ve improved and beefed up security there, so we are very confident that all tourists in Mombasa are safe.” (Reuters)

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