, NAIROBI Kenya, Sept 20- Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo on Saturday announced that they are on high alert following fears of a terror attack during the Westgate anniversary.
The police chief told a news conference that they he had deployed more police officers to patrol strategic areas, particularly in Nairobi, Mombasa and the border points.
“I have instructed my officers countrywide through their respective commands to work around the clock to ensure that the safety of our people, establishments and institutions is not compromised,” he said.
“Beats and patrols will from now henceforth be doubled across the country. Our response teams and specialized units will be on standby at all times should we need to call them for any eventuality.”
Kimaiyo urged the public to make use of all police lines to provide information that may help avert any form of attack or threat to national security.
“Our police emergency numbers, 999 and 112 are operational, and the public should be able to use at all times,” he said, and urged the public to work closely with security agents.
Kenya commemorates the first Westgate anniversary on Sunday, exactly one year since Al Shabaab attackers stormed the Westgate shopping mall in Westlands, Nairobi where they killed 67 people, including security officers.
Kimaiyo has defended the police action during the siege that also left the terrorists killed, although little is known about them, other than CCTV images circulated shortly after the incident.
Kenya’s Defence Forces chief General Julius Karangi has previously said the attackers were killed and their bodies given to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) detectives who worked closely with local security forces in the investigation.
There have been fears of an imminent attack during the anniversary, leading to additional security deployments across the country.
When he addressed a news conference on Sunday, Kimaiyo further urged owners of restaurants and buildings to intensify security during the period.
“The private security providers should also brief their staff thoroughly to ensure that they enhance their vigilance in all areas they will be guarding,” he stated.
Meanwhile, police are detaining two men believed to be Iranian nationals who were found traveling with fake passports, through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The men are said to have been holding Israeli passports, but their actual destination is not clear.
An anti-terrorism police officer told Capital FM News that the two are being treated as terror suspects since Thursday when they were arrested.
Kimaiyo said the two were being interrogated by police and immigration officials to establish their mission in the country, or where they were headed.