NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – Security has been stepped up in Nairobi and its environs following threats by Al Shabaab militants who have vowed reprisals to protest a military offensive against them in Somalia.
Nairobi Provincial Police chief Antony Kibuchi told Capital News that they have enhanced security and their intelligence mechanisms to secure the city.
“Since we have been threatened by Al Shabaab, I appeal to Nairobians to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious characters to the nearest police station,” the police chief said.
The public was urged to call emergency lines 999, 112, 020 272 41 54, 020 355 6771 or 020 355 67 80 incase they have anything to report.
“We will act on any information and it will always be treated in confidence,” he added.
On Monday, Al Shabaab militants through their spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage announced that they intended to carry out reprisals to protest the military operation against them inside Somalia.
“Kenya has peace, its cities have tall buildings and business is booming there, while Somalia is in chaos,” Rage announced at a press conference in Somalia on Monday.
“If your government ignores our calls to stop its aggression on Somali soil, we will strike at the heart of your interests,” he was quoted by AFP as having said, in an apparent address to the Kenyan population.
But the military has vowed to continue with the offensive and announced Tuesday they were advancing deep into Somalia to seize rebel-held Afmadow region.
“Our troops started moving to Afmadow last evening, this is where activities will be concentrated today [Tuesday],” Military Operations Information Officer Major Emmanuel Chirchir said.
Major Chirchir said dozens of Al Shabaab militants have been gathering around the town since Monday but no clash between them and Kenyan forces had been reported.
“So far, our mission is going on well, there have been no incidents reported at all since last night,” Maj Chirchir told Capital News on telephone.