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Kenya steps up security patrols at Somalia border after arrests of terror suspects

Monday February 4, 2019


Kenyan security forces have intensified patrols along the border with Somalia as hunt for individuals involved in the Jan. 15 attack at a Nairobi business complex gathers steam.

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The authorities said on Sunday that a multi-agency security team has been deployed along the Kenya-Somalia border to ward off intrusion by al-Shabab militants who carried out the attack at a hotel and business complex in Nairobi where 21 people lost their lives.

Mohamed Birik, North Eastern regional commissioner, told reporters on Sunday that deployment of additional security personnel along the common frontier coupled with a swoop in the expansive Dadaab refugee camp aims to neutralize any terror threat.

"We will not relent in our effort to secure the country. We will go for the terrorists and smoke them from their hideouts. However this can only be achieved through cooperation by residents volunteering information to the security apparatus," said Birik.

He said the current operation going on in Dadaab refugee complex that hosts mainly displaced Somalis has yielded fruit since it had led to the arrest of several terror suspects and recovery of some weapons and ammunitions.

Birik revealed that two foreigners who were among the 12 terror suspects arrested last week in a police swoop in the refugee camp are still being interrogated.

According to him, the two were holding Ethiopian and Switzerland passport that had expired visas.

He said the duo gave conflicting information during interrogation on among other issues why they had not renewed their visas.

"We want to dig deeper and establish their motive, whom they were working with and where they were destined to," said Birik.

He said the anti-terror police in Garissa have also sought 10 extra days from the court to probe the suspects and gather crucial leads in planning and execution of terrorist attacks in Kenya by Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab.

Birik said security checks have been enhanced on public and private vehicles plying the major roads in northeastern Kenya and those destined for Nairobi.

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