Terror threat in Kenya prompts Foreign Office warning

Terror threat in Kenya prompts Foreign Office warning

British travellers to Kenya have been advised to avoid "all but essential travel" to within 15km of the coast from the Tana River to Tiwi.

The updated Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice issued on Friday includes Mombasa airport, Mombasa Island, Malindi, Kilifi and Watamu but not the Diani beach resort.

The FCO said there was a "high threat" from terrorism, including kidnapping, and other violent crimes, such as robberies and carjacking.

Those without an "essential reason" to be in these areas should leave, it said.

This means the areas the FCO advises against travelling to extends from the coast of Tiwi, just south of Mombasa, up to the border with Somalia.

Travel advice for other parts of the country, beyond the coast, has not changed.

The vast majority of Kenya falls outside the FCO’s advice against all but essential travel.

This includes Kenya's safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies; including the Aberdare National Park, Amboseli, Laikipia, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, Meru, Mount Kenya, Samburu, Shimba Hills and Tsavo.

The Kenya Tourism Board acknowledged the changed travel advice but pointed out that areas not affected include Ukunda airport for access to Diani Beach and the south coast, all safari circuits throughout Kenya and Jomo Kenyatta airport in Nairobi.

The areas of the Kenyan coast not affected by the change in travel advice include Diani Beach, Galu Beach, Kinondo, Msambweni, Funzi Island, Shimoni and Wasini Island.

An FCO spokesman said the security position in the country was "under constant review".

“There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping,” the FCO said. “The main threat comes from extremists linked to Al Shabaab, a militant group that has carried out attacks in Kenya in response to Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.

“The Kenyan authorities have increased security to counter potential reprisal attacks.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate in places frequented by foreigners including hotels, bars, restaurants, sports bars and nightclubs, sporting events, supermarkets, shopping centres, beaches, buses, trains and transport hubs.

“Coastal areas have been the target of a large number of attacks. Places of worship including churches and mosques have also been targeted.

“Be particularly vigilant in these areas. Previous terrorist attacks in the region have targeted places where football matches are being viewed.”

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