Three women have been shot dead after police foiled an attempted terrorist attack on the central police station in Monbasa, Kenya’s second largest city and main seaport.

Two police officers are nursing injuries following the incident as the women, clad in buibuis (long dress) staged a well-choreographed plan to attack the police station Sunday.

Five women are said to have presented themselves at the police station to record a statement about a stolen phone only to turn against the officers. The five are the said to have attempted to petrol-bomb the station burning it partially before attacking an officer with a knife.

Police were forced to respond swiftly, opening fire at the women and killing three of them on the spot before arresting the other two.

Kenyan police personnel from the General Service Unit (GSU) immediately took over control of the station after it emerged that one of the suspects had an explosive vest.

Mombasa County police commander Peterson Mailu said two officers were injured during the 10 a.m. incident and that the women were attempting to set free a terror suspect who had been arrested earlier but had been moved to another station.

Coast Regional Co-ordinator Nelson Marwa said police were currently exploiting some leads to zero in on more suspects who might have planned the foiled attack.

Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar and Parliamentary Women’s leader Sureya Hersi termed the incident most unfortunate and warned that women were becoming easy targets for terrorist elements out to cause mayhem in the town.

Mombasa County Governor Ali Hassan Joho condemned the attack and promising to do everything in his power to ensure security for all while Mombasa county commissioner Evans Achoki said the attack confirmed that terrorism had mutated and now its agents were using women in a change of tactics.