Two people, one of them a police officer, were Thursday night injured in a grenade attack in Mombasa as they were escorting a suspect they had arrested in Mwembe Tayari.
The two were badly injured and had to be rushed to Jocham Hospital for treatment, witnesses at the attack near Duka La Lesso along Biashara Street said. They were later taken to Coast General Hospital.
Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa, Governor Hassan Joho, Senator Omar Hassan, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and police officers rushed to the scene and had the area cordoned off from the public.
Witnesses said the three police officers had just arrested a young man, handcuffed him and were escorting him to Mwembe Tayari Police Station when they were suddenly confronted by three of his friends.
The three young men demanded the reason their “friend” had been arrested by the police and that he be released immediately.
As the exchange escalated, one of the young men hurled a hand-held grenade at the officers, injuring one of them critically.
In the ensuing confusion, the young man who had been arrested and his three friend fled as the officers struggled to save their colleague.
The grenade explosion left a gaping hole on the road and police officers fought back, shattering the windscreens of two saloon cars.
Anti-terror police officers quickly secured the scene with Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa promising to brief the media on the initial reports from the police.
Mr Marwa said police officers arrested the young man who they suspected was planning an attack in the coastal city.
He assured the residents that the government was in charge of the situation.
Mr Joho assured Mombasa residents that they had met President Uhuru Kenyatta who had assured them of the measures being taken to avert any other attacks.
The attack came a few days after the UK evacuated its tourists from most hotels at the Coast citing in the aftermath of a travel advisory. Thompsons Tour Company, a leading firm in bringing tourists in the county, suspended all flights to Kenya until October 31.