Friday, June 10, 2016
National Police Service spokesman George Kinoti at a past event. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
By FRED MUKINDA
Security has been heightened in several parts of the country to forestall planned Al-Shabaab attacks during the month of Ramadhan, police have said.
Areas near the Somalia border are particularly targeted by terrorists masquerading as herders or refugees, said National Police Service spokesman George Kinoti on Friday.
In Nairobi, Malindi and Mombasa, public transport operators, hotel keepers and guards in charge of public buildings have been asked to be on the lookout when dealing with clients.
“Terror attacks have previously been witnessed in the country during this period. We call upon all Kenyans to exercise extra vigilance and report any suspicious activities to security agencies for action,” Mr Kinoti said.
He added: “The police and other security agencies in the country are continuously monitoring Al-Shabaab activities across the border in Somalia and their attempts to infiltrate Kenya with intention to commit atrocities.”
An explosion targeting a police car in Mandera last week is an indication of the planned attacks, the police also said.
The Somalia-based terrorist group suffered a major blow last week when one of its Kenyan commanders, Mohammed Dulyadayn, alias Kuno, was killed in an air strike.
He was the commander of Al-Shabaab activities in the Juba region of Somalia and was also in charge of recruitment in northeastern Kenya.
Kuno, also known as Gamadhere, had a Sh5 million bounty put on his head for masterminding the Garissa University College terror attack in which 148 people, most of them students, were killed on April 2 last year.
Mr Kinoti also said terrorists from Somalia may already have sneaked into border counties.
“The terrorists may masquerade as herders looking for pasture or as refugees. As such we call upon all citizens particularly in Boni forest and its environs to be on the lookout for such individuals,” he said.
Mr Kinoti added that four people arrested recently at the Coast over the killings of three elders in Ukunda, Kwale County, are members of Al-Shabaab.
Police expect reports to be made via the toll-free telephone lines 999, 911 and 112.