Kenya on renewed terror alert

October 3, 2012 9:50 am
Soldiers of the Kenyan Contingent serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), sit on a flat-bed truck as a convoy makes its way between the port of KismayU and the city’s airport.AU-UN IST PHOTO / STUART PRICE.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 3 – Arsonists believed to be linked to Al Shabaab militants torched the Garissa police station on Tuesday night, destroying property of unknown value.

Police consider it as a revenge attack after Kenyan forces and AMISOM troops drove out the Al Shabaab from Kismayu and other major towns they previously controlled in Somalia.

“We highly suspect they have a link with Al Shabaab,” a senior police officer said.

North Eastern Provincial Police chief Philip Tuimur said: “There was an attack last night and we are looking for the attackers.”Garissa has been hit by numerous attacks the latest being Sunday night’s killing of two Administration Police officers who were gunned down as they patrolled the town – which is considered volatile.

On Monday night, another police station was attacked in the town but no casualties were reported.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere has announced that security forces are on a high alert following intelligence reports of imminent terror threats from the Al Shabaab who are smarting from defeat in Kismayu.

On Tuesday, Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said security forces had increased surveillance and urged the public to be on the lookout for people with ulterior motives.

“We have intelligence reports in respect to terrorist threats from Al Shabaab and their sympathisers since KDF entered Kismayu,” Kiraithe told a news conference.

“Security forces in the country have heightened their surveillance to ensure the country is safe.”He said intelligence reports had shown that Al Shabaab was actively recruiting women to carry out attacks, including suicide bombings.

“There has been a misconception that it is only men who carry out suicide bombings. But we have established that since Al Shabaab have learnt that there is a lot of attention on men, they are now recruiting women to carry out the attacks,” he said and urged members of the public to be on the lookout for women who appear dressed in a suspicious manner.

Such women, he said, should be thoroughly screened.

Kiraithe said they have established that most explosives – particularly grenades used in recent attacks are smuggled into the country from lawless Somalia which is being liberated by the KDF and AMISOM forces.

Garissa is the biggest town in North Eastern province that borders lawless Somalia. Recent attacks by suspected Al Shabaab sympathisers have left deaths in their wake/ AFP

Kenya has lately suffered several attacks, including Sunday’s explosion that killed one child and wounded nine others at a church in Nairobi.

Police headquarters has sent out an appeal to businessmen particularly those in the transport and hotel industry to scrutinise their customers by verifying their identities, nationalities and their mission at respective places.

“Even if one has an identity card or passport, those documents should be thoroughly verified because some are fake,” he said.


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