NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – Internal Security Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode has said the government is planning a major security operation in Nairobi targeting Al Shabaab and other suspected terror suspects.
Ojode told Parliament on Wednesday morning that the operation will be conducted in the coming days and is part of security measures the government is applying to ensure safety in the country in the wake of reprisal threats from Al Shabaab.
Already, Kenyan military forces are battling the Al Shabaab militants inside their country following a series of raids inside Kenya where several people have been kidnapped, including four European women seized from Lamu and Dadaab refugee camp since last month.
“We will get rid of all these criminals, there will be a major operation in Nairobi to get rid of Al Shabaab,” he said and warned the operation may cause inconveniences to City residents.
“I urge everyone to cooperate once this operation starts, it will be a major operation specifically targeting criminal networks like Al Shabaab and terrorists but it may make people uncomfortable,” he said without elaborating.
In the Somalia offensive, the military said they had killed at least 75 Al Shabaab militants since the offensive started on Saturday.
Military Spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir told Capital News that their troops had driven off Al Shabaab militants from Dhobley, Qoqani and Afmadow since the offensive started.
Back home, the Assistant Minister on Wednesday told Parliament that security forces were also under firm instructions to thoroughly search passengers using public transport in North Eastern, Upper Eastern and parts of the North Rift.
“There is a lot that is happening in terms of security measures put in place because even all public transport vehicles in North Rift, Upper Eastern and North Eastern Provinces are going to be thoroughly searched, we urge people to cooperate,” he appealed.
Police are already compelling all airlines operating in those areas to get security clearance certificates from Police headquarters after every three months.
“And as part of our security measures, all aircrafts operating in North Rift, Upper Eastern and North Eastern Provinces are required to get security permits from Police headquarters. This passes are free of charge and they are valid for three months,” he told Parliament.
He said the measures are meant to protect Kenyans after Al Shabaab militants protesting an offensive against them vowed revenge attacks in Kenya.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister Yusuf Haji and his Foreign Affairs counterpart Moses Wetangula travelled to Mogadishu where they sealed a pact with officials of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) who have agreed to work together in the offensive concentrated on the lower Juba area of Southern Somalia.
There was panic at the meeting with the Kenyan ministers when a car bomb exploded near the venue at the Foreign Ministry in Mogadishu, killing at least two people and wounding nearly a dozen others.