U.S. officials in Kenya have issued a warning regarding the “imminent threat” of a terror attack on Mombasa, and directed Americans to leave the city. The port city is the second largest in Kenya, and a major tourist destination. Mombasa has been one of a number of cities targeted by grenade attacks in recent months. The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, the nation’s capital, has suspended travel to Mombasa by the U.S. Government until July.
“All U.S. government personnel are required to leave Mombasa,” the embassy said in a statement Friday. “U.S. private citizens are not subject to the same restrictions, but should consider this information in their travel planning.”
The statement did not release specifics as to what the threat was, or why Mombasa was being targeted. Kenya’s military forces have been battling Islamic militant group al-Shabaab in southern Somalia since October, having blamed the group for attacks and kidnappings committed against foreigner travelers in Kenya. In response, al-Shabaab threatened the country with retaliatory attacks, claiming that Kenya is imposing on Somalia’s sovereignty.
Since the invasion of Somalia, Kenya has been the subject of a series of grenade attacks, blamed on the terrorist organization. Al-Shabaab has been linked to al Qaeda and has been designated by the United States as a terrorist organization. The embassy has issued warnings of other potential attacks within Kenya in the past.