NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 23 – Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday said over 100 Al Shabaab militants and sympathisers had been killed in two operations inside Somalia by the Kenya Defence Forces.
Ruto said the operations were undertaken in response to the killing of 28 Kenyans by the Al Shabaab on Saturday.
“Those who perpetuated these acts of criminality on 28 Kenyans, they too did not live to celebrate the crime they had committed. Going forward we are going to make sure that incidents like this, are in the future avoided,” Ruto said during a media briefing on matter at his office.
On Saturday afternoon, the Interior Ministry reported that the Kenya Defence Forces had destroyed the camp of those believed to have carried out the early morning raid on a bus in Mandera and then fled back into Somalia.
Critics have however raised questions as to why the attack could not have been prevented, but Ruto says the ambush took place because the attack was planned from inside Somalia in an areas not manned by Kenya’s security forces.
“The unfortunate thing about the incident that happened yesterday is that it was planned across the border in a sector that is manned by a different country in Somalia. But decisive steps taken led to what I have said earlier (the killing of 100 Al Shabaab militants),” he explained.
The DP said the police would also continue to carry out security operations in mosques suspected of harbouring terrorists despite the Al Shabaab giving the operations as the reason for their attack on Saturday.
“Any place of worship, whether it is church, mosque or whether it’s a synagogue that is being used as platform that goes into hurting and killing of Kenyans, does not deserve to be place of worship but degenerates into a scene of crime,” he maintained.
Ruto therefore called on Muslim religious leaders to take on a more proactive role to ensure their mosques are not taken over by terrorists.
“Our message to them is clear; you may sneak and attack innocent civilians. But for any attack on Kenya and its people, we shall pursue you wherever you go,” he warned.
Despite criticism that the security apparatus have failed Kenyans due to continued attacks including Westgate last year, Lamu, Kapedo and now Mandera, Ruto maintained that authorities were in control and that a lot of attacks have been prevented.
“I commend our security agencies for their continued efforts to protect our people and country. They continue to improve their anti-terrorism capability and have detected and prevented numerous plans and attempts against our people, buildings and installations,” the DP said.
He has once again sent his condolences to the families and friends who lost their loved ones, assuring of government support.