MOMBASA, Kenya - Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki arrived in the port city of Mombasa Thursday after days of violence sparked by the killing of a radical Muslim cleric, as authorities insisted security has been restored.
Hundreds of armed security officers have been deployed in Mombasa to quash the stone-throwing rioters who took to the streets in their hundreds following the killing of preacher Aboud Rogo Mohammed on Monday.
"Mombasa is calm ... order has been restored," said senior police officer Ambrose Munyasia, speaking a day after attackers hurled a grenade at a police truck, wounding at least four officers.
The attack, in which the Red Cross said one person was killed, was the second such blast since riots broke out on Monday, with an earlier grenade killing three policemen on Tuesday.
Kibaki flew to Mombasa to open an agricultural trade fair, a long standing engagement, but one which is also viewed as a government effort to show confidence in Mombasa's security, Kenya's main port and a key tourist hub.
For two days, angry youths fought running battles with police, looting churches and torching cars. But Muslim leaders said Thursday the situation had improved, with many businesses closed during the rioting now open.
"Things are much calmer after last night's house to house searches by the police.... Mombasa is slowly returning to normal," said Khalid Hussein, head of the local organisation Muslims for Human Rights.
"All we can do is pray that police do not go out on a revenge mission since some of their own have fallen victim to the violence. This might provoke the rioters again."
The murdered cleric -- popularly known as Rogo -- was on US and UN sanctions lists for allegedly supporting neighbouring Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants.
Rogo had fiercely opposed Kenya's invasion of southern Somalia last year to attack Shebab bases. The United States and United Nations had accused him of recruiting and fundraising for the extremist insurgents.