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Security beefed up in Coast holiday spots

A security plan that includes air, land and sea patrols has been prepared for Mombasa and Lamu this holiday season.

Special attention will be paid to areas around the Nyali bridge, supermarkets, Likoni Ferry Channel as well as Pirates Beach in Mombasa, said County Commissioner Nelson Marwa.

At the same time, vehicles travelling between Lamu and Garsen will be escorted by police. This is to avoid attacks similar to Saturday’s on a passenger bus.

The measures were announced during separate security briefings in Mombasa and Lamu. In Mombasa, Mr Marwa said there will be aerial and sea patrols on Kenyan waters to protect holiday goers. Security agents will also monitor churches, hotels and other critical public facilities.

Mr Marwa said specific sub-counties had orders in place for Likoni, Changamwe and Kisauni and coordinated by county commanders.

Places with large gatherings were at risk and “we have deployed officers to curb any attacks,” he said.

The team, he said, has involved the public and stakeholders in crafting security plans into January. Mr Marwa told the Daily Nation that Fort Jesus, Jomo Kenyatta and Pirates beaches, which attract huge crowds are all secured.

SECURITY BRIEFING

On emergency response, Deputy County Police Commander Sevelino Kubai said during a security briefing: “Let  suspicious characters be warned that they will be dealt with firmly.”

He allayed fears of Mombasa being unsafe. At the same time, Mr Marwa ordered County Traffic Commandant Martin Kariuki to check all vehicles with 100 per cent tinted windows.

He told traffic officers to stop such cars at roadblocks and before they board the ferry. They must also be checked before they get through Lunga Lunga border, the airport, Mazeras and other entry points into the county, Mr Marwa said.

CID officers have been posted to Mama Ngina Drive to investigate some vehicles that were spotted with tints. “If you are innocent, why are you tinting your vehicle? What are you hiding?” he posed and said he and Governor Ali Hassan Joho had agreed to deal with criminals head-on.

The number of security staff involved was not disclosed. The traffic commandant said officers would be posted on most roads including Malindi, Mtwapa, Nyali Road, Links, Kenol-Bamburi and Shanzu.

Police yesterday started escorting public service vehicles on the Lamu-Garsen road following Saturday’s gun attack on a Tawakal bus. Lamu County Police Commander Ephantus Kiura said no vehicle will be allowed on the route without an armed escort.

“We shall escort them from Mokowe Jetty to Gamba in Tana Delta,” he said, adding, two police vehicles will be on the convoy.

The first such convoy left Mokowe Jetty at 7am for Mombasa with an escort of General Service Unit and Rapid Deployment Unit officers.