Say no to religious fanatics coast tourism stakeholders urge Mombasa

RELIGIOUS FANATICS IS NOT WHAT COAST TOURISM NEEDS RIGHT NOW

(Posted 03rd February 2014)

Reports from Mombasa overnight talk of some serious trouble at two mosques in Mombasa, known for their agitation if not outright indoctrination and radicalization of gullible young people. A police officer died and another was stabbed in the neck when security forces entered the two supposed places of worship, only to discover weapons, including an AK 47 and a range of materials described as a recipe for insubordination, violence and broadly supporting militant views similar to those by Al Shabab in preparation of Jihad. During the operation, according to local sources in Mombasa, at least two of the radical youths were also killed.

Dozens of suspects were arrested both inside the buildings but also later on in the streets as the youths engaged the police and security forces by throwing stones and bottles first and then using weapons like knives, machetes iron bars and clubs after being driven out of the mosques.

The source from Mombasa affirmed that shots had been fired at a police cordon around one of the mosques first before then prompting the security forces to storm the building.

Government is now considering shutting down the two mosques for good after it became known that some of the walls inside were littered with slogans to start a holy war and had been turned into an open recruitment centre for militants.

The coast tourism fraternity, already struggling with a downturn in business and negative publicity over so far admittedly isolated cases of attempted violence against tourists at the Likoni Ferry crossing and directed at local bars at the South Coast, was swift to condemn the actions of what one regular source described as ‘a few dozen misled individuals who have fallen for the propaganda of terrorists’.

Occupancies from the coast are reported to be between 25 and 35 percent below last year’s average and some charter flights, it was learned, will already terminate the flight series in February and March, way before the Easter holiday weekend, suggesting a further deterioration of occupancies in coming weeks.

Such incidents we need like a hole in the head’ wrote one source while another encouraged government security forces to use all available tools of intelligence gathering, surveillance and arrests to contain to ‘nip it in the bud before it spreads like a cancer’.

Watch this space for updates from across the region on all matters concerning tourism.

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