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Somali Islamists parade Kenyan hostages

Monday, June 03, 2013

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Somalia’s Islamist fighters have paraded two prisoners, believed to be Kenyans captured last month after a cross border raid, witnesses said on Monday.

“Hundreds of people came to see the hostages who the Shabaab said were Kenyans,” said Ali Moalim, who was among the crowds who gathered on Sunday in Jilib, an Islamist-controlled southern Somali region of Lower Juba.

Last month Shabaab fighters attacked a Kenyan police border post, killing five and claiming to have kidnapped two.

“The two men looked miserable,” said Abdurahman Isa, another witness, adding that rifles and ammunition allegedly captured at the same time were also paraded alongside the men.

Kenya has been hit by a wave of grenade and gun attacks since its army invaded Somalia in 2011 to attack the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab, who vowed revenge.

Kenyan troops remain in southern Somalia but have since been integrated into an African Union force.

The Shabaab have previously broadcast videos of kidnapped Kenyan soldiers and civil servants.

In the past year the Islamists have been driven from a string of key towns by AU and allied Somali forces but they still remain a potent threat.

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