Kenya nabs 3 suspected Somali Islamists

April 23, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Apr 23 – Kenyan police said on Saturday they have arrested three suspected members of Somalia\’s Al Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab rebel group carrying materials that could be used to make explosives.

"They were arrested within Northeastern Province as they tried to cross over to their country," said the officer, who asked not to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the press.

"We do not know what they were up to, but we suspect they were up to no good because they were in possession of dangerous materials used to make bombs and other explosives," he told AFP.

He said the arrests were made on Friday, but declined to say where exactly.

"For now the three suspects are in the custody of police officers in Northeastern Province, but they are to be brought here to Nairobi for further interrogation," he added.

The arrests follow a statement by police that they had beefed up security after Shebab rebels threatened to bomb public places such as shopping malls, government offices and places of worship over the four-day Easter weekend.

The Shebab, who control large swathes of Somalia and have been engaged in a bruising insurgency against the internationally backed transitional government, have repeatedly expressed their displeasure with Kenya\’s stand on the conflict.

Kenya, which shares a long and porous border with Somalia and has offered assistance to government troops battling the insurgents, has frequently expressed fears that Shebab suicide bombers would strike in Kenya.

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