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Kenya on alert after Al Shabaab threat

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 – Security officers in public places have been cautioned to be extra vigilant in the face of threats of attacks by the Al  Shabaab militia group which is fighting with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere on Monday called on security personnel in shopping malls, hotels, Public Servile Vehicle bus stops and all other social places where the public is admitted, to be extra careful at this time.

"We have taken measures to provide adequate security," assured Mr Iteere but called for public support.

"We wish to encourage any person with information on criminals and other suspicious activities to report to police or other authorities. It is the civic duty of every citizen to play their part in the prevention of crime and the maintenance of law and order."

The Al Shabaab has threatened to carry out retaliatory attacks on Kenya for co-operating with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

Heavy fighting has been reported in Mandera at the boarder of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia as the Al Shabaab battled with the Transitional Federal Government forces, spilling to the Kenyan town.   Last week one woman succumbed to injuries while 19 people are said to have been injured.

Mandera town residents have started fleeing the area in the fear of attacks.

"Members of public are advised to cooperate with legitimate security personnel whenever required to," said Mr Iteere.

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In the meantime, police have started investigations into the killing of the Kenya Revenue Authority Senior Assistant Commissioner of investigation Joseph Cheptarus who was killed on Sunday.

The Police Commissioner said he has directed the Criminal Investigations Department to cooperate with KRA and any other interested party to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and prosecuted. 

"I have taken the decision to open up this investigation to interested parties because any murder of  a public servant is a matter of grave concern to me," he said.

Sources have indicated that Mr Cheptarus who was shot dead at his gate in Nairobi\’s South ‘C’ estate was investigating a gold-smuggling case with an estimated value of Sh9 billion.

"The matter will be investigated in a manner that will give confidence to KRA Staff and other public officers that they can diligently perform their duties without the fear of those determined to break the law," assured the Commissioner.

The police are also investigating the murder of five persons involving an armed gang in Kirinyaga South District on the night of 27th to 28th.

Mr Iteere said the due to the gravity of the matter he had  directed the Special Crimes Prevention Unit to move into the area and reinforce the local police Units to ensure that the criminals involved are speedily arrested, prosecuted and the firearm they used recovered.

"We are determined to ensure that by no means will the perpetrators of this crime be allowed to get away with it," he said. 

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