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Police arrest four Al-Shabaab terror suspects in Malindi
Monday, July 23, 2012
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Kenya’s police on Sunday arrested four Al-Shabaab terror suspects in the coastal town of Malindi as the authorities enhanced security across the east African nation.
The police said the four Kenyans of Somali origin were arrested in a passenger bus that they had boarded from Tana River town heading to Mombasa city.
The suspects were arrested by team detectives from anti- terrorism police unit after they were trailed leading to the recovery of two G-3 rifles, four long knives, and two G3 magazines loaded with two rounds of ammunition.
"We are holding them for further interrogation at Malindi police station before arraigning them in court on Monday for various charges them," Divisional police commander, Kipron Langat, told Xinhua by telephone on Sunday.
Langat said the suspects were arrested at a road block at Sabaki area a few km from Malindi town, a key tourism destination center in Kenya.
Head of Anti-Terrorism Police Unit in coastal city Elijah Rop said the four are being interrogated by police officers as they launch investigation and manhunt for their accomplices.
The arrest came amid reports of an imminent attack from Al- Shabaab militants who have warned of massive destruction in Kenya during the holy month of Ramadan.
Regional police commander Aggrey Adoli stated security has been beefed up in potential hotspots and measures put in place to counter any attempted attack.
Security has been intensified mainly in Nairobi, Mombasa and border towns where the terrorists are targeting government installations and public places, including hotels and places of worship.
"We are appealing to Kenyans to be vigilant and report suspicious characters to police.
"We are not taking any chances of any terror attacks by securing key installations and increasing more police patrols in part of the province," Adoli told Xinhua on Sunday.
"We are screening everybody including our Muslim brothers and sisters who have started to observe the Holy month of Ramadhan during late hours," he added.
The militant group has in the past months threatened to bring down Kenya’s tall glass buildings after Kenyan troops crossed into Somalia mid October 2011 following a spate of attacks and abductions in its territory that it blamed on the militants.
Al-Shabaab insurgents have launched retaliatory attacks in Kenya, mainly using bomb and grenades and it is believed that these are building up to a larger attack and using more sophisticated weapons.
The latest deadly attack occurred in Garissa three weeks ago when suspected militants opened fire and hurled grenades inside two churches, killing 18 people.
A senior anti terrorism police boss told Xinhua that the four suspects are believed to be behind a spate of grenade attacks in parts of Northern Kenya.
On Saturday, the police also arrested another terror suspect in Mombasa city, Mbaraki area.
The suspect, Abubakar Shiunzi, is a Kenyan believed to be linked with the Al-Shabaab terror group in Somalia.
He was picked under tight security by a special team of anti terrorism police unit and was found with several mobile phone Simcards suspected to be used to make contacts with the insurgents.
Several people have been killed in northeast regions bordering Somalia since troops launched a cross-border campaign against Al- Shabaab, including grenades thrown into bars and a church, and several homemade explosive devices and landmines set off.
Police now believe terror suspects will not operate freely unless permitted by their local host communities.
Kenya sent troops across the border into Somalia in October to battle the hardline militants it blamed for a spate attacks on home soil.
The Al-Shabaab insurgents used to control large parts of central and southern Somalia but are facing increasing pressure from government forces and regional armies, a move that has scuttled their operations.
The Horn of Africa country has been ravaged by a nearly uninterrupted civil war since the 1991 ouster of president Mohamed Siad Barre, which sparked vicious bloodletting by rival militias fighting for power.
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