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Kenya beefs up security near border with Somalia, recovers rifles

Monday, October 01, 2012

GARISSA, Kenya, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan authorities have beefed up security in Garissa close to the border with Somalia as search for those who killed two police officers on Sunday night has been intensified.

Divisional deputy police commander, Chemonges Ndiema, said the security forces have recovered the two G-3 rifles and 40 rounds of ammunitions that were taken away from the slain administration police officers who were killed on Sunday evening.

Ndiema said the two guns are already in custody as police were doing investigation in a bid to apprehend the culprits.

"We have already dismantled the two guns and our forensic experts are doing finger print test which will give us crucial leads into unearthing those who are behind this heinous attack," he said.

Ndiema did not rule out the possibility of the embattled Al- Shabaab militias crossing the border and carrying out the retaliatory attacks after their last stronghold port of Kismayo was captured by Kenya Defence Forces and Somalia National Army (SNA).

The Sunday evening attack which came hours after a grenade killed a child in a church in Nairobi is suspected to be a reaction of the soldiers' capture of kismayo city on Friday.

Following the incident, operations in the town came to a standstill as a contingent of security personnel surrounded the area.

The riffles were recovered from a nearby thicket near Ngamia Road a few meters from where the murder was executed. They were on their way to NEP Girls Secondary School where they usually take guard at night.

According to an eye witness, who sought anonymity, the two assailants were clad in robs when they were executing the murder.

"I was busy walking towards my house along the busy Ngamia road when I heard loud gunshots rendering the air. When I looked at where the sound was coming from, I saw two men wielding two G3 guns running to a thicket where they hid the riffles," a visibly shaken resident only identified as Halima told Xinhua on Monday.

"I then shouted something that aroused people's attention. When we approached the place we found two officers lay down lifeless and the two criminals had already disappeared," she said.

The incident led to panic in Garissa town which has been prone to attacks from Al-Shabaab since Kenya sent its military to fight the militants in Somalia late last year.

Security officers imposed a curfew prompting early closure of shops and other business premises.

Ndiema called on the residents to help the police in their investigation and also urged them to stay calm as investigations were underway in order to apprehend the culprit behind incident.

The incident came barely a week where two paramilitary officers were seriously injured in a grenade attack, about 2 km from the scene of Sunday's attack.

The east African nation launched cross border incursion into Somalia last October in pursuit of the militants blamed for a series of grenade and landmine attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and northern region.

The authorities have called on Kenyans to be vigilant over terror attacks because of higher numbers of foreign fighters who sneaked into the country from neighboring Somalia who are fleeing military airstrikes by Kenyan and Somali forces.

Al-Shabaab militants have vowed to attack Nairobi after the east African nation which hosted protracted negotiations that culminated in the signing of the federal charter for Somalia in 2005, invaded Somalia to flush out the insurgents it blamed for kidnappings of tourists.

Two days after Kenyan troops in the UN-backed African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) captured the strategic port city of Kismayo, the insurgents have vowed to step up retaliatory attacks in Kenyan cities.


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