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Kenya blames terror attacks on Somali militants

Thursday, December 20, 2012

NAIROBI, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government on Thursday blamed a spate of bomb and grenade attacks in Nairobi in Eastleigh residential estate on Al-Shabaaab militants from Somalia.

Nairobi Provincial Commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu told a news conference in Nairobi that so far the police are holding 23 suspects in connection with Wednesday night's attack and will be arraigned in court after investigations are completed.

"We have the capacity, will and ability to secure the city and eliminate criminal elements," Ndirangu vowed, adding that during the festive season the police will be on standby to provide security to party-goers.

Eastleigh has been the scene of frequent terror attacks but the police have warned residents and travelers to be extra vigilant and volunteer any information that may assist in the investigations.

Kenya has blamed Somalia's Al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabaab militants for a spate of attacks in Kenya in recent years especially in Nairobi, Mombasa and northern regions.

However, the insurgents have not publicly claimed responsibly for the recent spate of bomb and grenade attacks which have left more than 20 people dead and dozens of others injured in the past three months.

The East African nation has experienced a string of attacks on churches and public places in the recent past, blaming them on Al- Qaida allied militants from Somalia who have vowed to attack Kenya because Kenyan military forces entered Somalia last year to fight against the group.

But Ndirangu warned those planning to cause violence in Nairobi on notice saying that a massive crackdown to mop up grenades, illegal guns and arrest Al-Shabaab sympathizers is underway.

Ndirangu assured Nairobi residents of security, saying in addition to the swoop in Eastleigh and its environs police patrols have been intensified in Nairobi to ensure residents celebrate the festive season in peace.

The regional government administrator asked the public to co- operate with the police in ensuring their safety.

"It is not the sole responsibility of the government to provide security, Kenyans have a role to play to safeguard peace and security," Ndirangu said in Nairobi.

He called on those planning to organize parties during the festive season to inform the authorities for security arrangements to be put in place.

Analysts say the grenade and landmine explosions come as the biggest warning to Kenya so far that the insurgents are keen to orchestrate devastating terror attacks in the country after the capture of their strategic port city of Kismayo which served as the revenue collection center. The trend of the attacks particularly in northern Kenya, Nairobi and Mombasa which seemingly are well coordinated since several suspects have been arrested, has heightened worries among Kenyans.


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