Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

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US warns citizens over terror threats in Kenya


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Entrance to US embassy in Gigiri, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The US government has issued a new warning to its citizens to watch out for possible attacks by militant groups in Nairobi and elsewhere in Kenya.

Its embassy in Nairobi said locations frequented by its citizens and other foreigners and tourists in the capital and other parts of the country remain targets for terrorists planning to carry out attacks.

“Terrorist groups could attack with little or no warning, targeting hotels, embassies, restaurants, malls and markets, schools, police stations, places of worship, and other places frequented by foreigners and tourists,” the statement on its website reads.

The US, however, noted that the Kenyan government has increased counterterrorism patrols to foil such attacks.

There has been no major attack in Nairobi since the DusitD2 complex attack on January 15, 2019, which left 21 people dead and dozens other injured.

In January 2020, Al Shabaab attacked the Manda Bay airbase, a military facility in Lamu manned by Kenyan and American forces, which left three Americans, a soldier and two US Department of Defence (DoD) contractors. Two other US service members and a third DoD contractor were injured. 

The US Embassy asked its citizens to exercise vigilance at high profile locations, review their personal security plans and check the local media for updates. 

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki recently revealed that the government forces have disrupted many terror plots at source, neutralised or arrested dozens of suspected terrorists.

Speaking when he marked 100 days in office on Monday, Prof Kindiki further said huge cache of weapons and explosives have been intercepted and destroyed.

“The current crack down on Al-Shabaab terror cells in Somalia which is spearheaded by local community leaders with the support of the Federal Government of Somalia has tremendously weakened this militant group,” Prof Kindiki.

The CS said the government has also stepped up border patrols and upped surveillance to thwart any attacks.

“The nearly 6,000 new police officers who have joined the National Police Service in the last 100 days guarantees us sustainability of the fight against crime. The new officers will be deployed to security hotspots across the Country immediately to further buttress the security of our people and their property,” Prof Kindiki said.

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