Kenyan Police Arrest Three For Trying To Enter British Army Camp

File photo of Kenyan police officers.

 

Kenyan police have arrested three men who tried to force their way into a British military camp in central Kenya, according to an internal police report seen by AFP Monday.

The men were arrested at 5:00 pm on Sunday, just hours after Al-Shabaab Islamists stormed onto a US-Kenyan military base in the coastal Lamu region, near the border with Somalia, killing three Americans.

The report said officers “managed to arrest three terrorist suspects who had earlier in the day tried to force their way into British Army Camp but in vain.”

The camp, near the town of Nanyuki 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of Nairobi, is used by the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) under an agreement with Kenya for training British troops in hot and rugged terrain.

The trio’s images had been “captured by CCTV and circulated,” it said. Investigators following up leads “found them near Nanyuki police station where they arrested,” it said.

Marcus Ochola, police chief for the Rift Valley Region, said the trio were not armed.

“The three suspects are being interrogated to establish their motive,” he said.

Kenyan police are on high alert around the country after Somalia’s Al-Shabaab stormed Camp Simba in Lamu, destroying several aircraft and killing three American citizens in their first strike on a hard target in Kenya.

The militants began targeting Kenya after it sent troops into Somalia in 2011 to join an African Union peacekeeping force seeking to combat the militants who have been trying to topple an internationally-backed government in Mogadishu for over a decade.

The Al-Qaeda-linked group has in the past carried out bloody sieges against civilians in Kenya, such as the upmarket Westgate Mall in 2013 and Garissa Univerity in 2015.

The uptick in tensions comes just days before the one-year anniversary of an attack on a Nairobi hotel complex which left 21 people dead.

A separate police report on Monday said a Canadian citizen of Somali origin had been arrested in the suburb of Eastleigh in the capital while taking pictures of a nearby airforce base.

According to Britain’s Ministry of defence website, BATUK consists of around 100 permanent staff and 280 on “short tour” assignments.

Its job is to provide “demanding training to exercising units preparing to deploy on operations or assume high-readiness tasks.”

Under the agreement with Kenya, up to six infantry battalions per year carry out eight-week exercises.

Kenya Police Detain Another Chinese Journalist

File photo of a police officer in Nairobi, Kenya capital city. PHOTO: SIMON MAINA / AFP

Kenyan police on Friday briefly detained a Chinese journalist, just days after a raid on another Chinese broadcaster, as part of an immigration crackdown that has frustrated Bejing embassy officials.

Police entered the offices of the China Daily newspaper in Nairobi demanding the documents of staff before hauling deputy bureau chief Liu Hongjie to the police station despite having verified his work permit online.

“His work permit is valid. They even checked it online at his office. But he was still be taken away,” said embassy spokesman Zhang Ghang, adding the journalist was later released.

Police on Wednesday raided the African headquarters of the China Global Television Network (CGTN), briefly detaining eight journalists, as well as five other nationals employed in the same building.

The Chinese embassy expressed concern at an increase in detentions of its nationals even though they hold legal documents.

Government spokesman Erick Kiraithe told AFP the raid on CGTN was a “mistake”, without elaborating.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press briefing in Beijing that Kenya had “admitted inadequacies in law enforcement and apologised”.

Kenya last month began hunting down and arresting those illegally in the country after holding a 60-day exercise in which every foreigner was required to revalidate their permits.

Last week the interior ministry released a hotline number for members of the public to report suspected illegal immigrants.

Police have been stopping foreigners in malls, restaurants and other establishments and demanding they identify themselves, however no other raids on workplaces have so far been reported.

On Thursday a Chinese businessman was arrested and deported after a video of him making a string of racist remarks was widely shared on social media.

Zhang said that the video dated to June and that the person in question had already been punished by his company.

China and Kenya maintain strong relations, with Beijing funding numerous infrastructure projects in the country.

China financed 90 per cent of a $3.2-billion (2.8-billion-euro) railway linking Nairobi to the coastal city of Mombasa.

President Uhuru Kenyatta attended a two-day China-Africa forum in Beijing this week discussing the financing of the railway’s second phase linking the Rift Valley town of Naivasha to Kisumu near the Ugandan border, at a cost of a further $3.5 billion.

AFP

Kenyan Police Accused Of Rape In Election Violence – HRW

Kenyan security forces raped, beat and assaulted civilians during violence in recent elections, Human Rights Watch said Thursday, claims rejected by police.

“There was widespread sexual violence against women and girls, and sexual attacks on men,” HRW said, in a report titled, “They were men in uniform.”

The violence, documented during Kenya’s election in August by HRW and other rights groups, recorded “police use of excessive force against protesters, killings, beatings and maiming of individuals, looting and destruction of property”.

The report was based on interviews with 65 women, three girls and three men who were sexually attacked. About half of the rapes reported to HRW were gang rapes.

“About half of the women interviewed said that they were raped by policemen or men in uniform,” the report read, adding that many attacks were also accompanied by torture and violence against the women’s children and husbands.

Kenyan police chief Joseph Boinnet dismissed the report as “utter falsehoods”, and challenged HRW to provide evidence.

At least 58 people have died during violent clashes since the August 8 vote, which split the country along ethnic and regional lines.

The poll was annulled in September by the Supreme Court, citing “irregularities and illegalities”.

The court ordered a rerun in October that was boycotted by the opposition, handing President Uhuru Kenyatta a landslide of 98 percent of votes cast by just 39 percent of the electorate.

AFP

Fake Bomb Grounds Air France In Kenya

Air franceAn Air France passenger jet has been forced to make an emergency landing in Kenya after a fake bomb was found in a toilet.

The aircraft, a Boeing 777 was on its way from Mauritius to Paris when it was evacuated at Mombasa airport where the suspicious device was taken away for examination.

Air France Chief, Frederic Gagey, later said it was made of a cardboard box, paper and a timer.

The plane, carrying 459 passengers and 14 crew, had left Mauritius at 01:00 GMT and had been due to fly directly to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

Several passengers from the flight have been questioned by Kenyan Police.

Mr Gagey told reporters that the airline would press charges against those responsible.

But he denied there had been any problem with security checks in Mauritius. He maintained that the device contained no explosives, and so would not have been detected.

President Jonathan Condemns Al-Shabab Attack On Kenyan University

JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan has extended heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Kenya and to the families of those who died on Thursday in the gruesome terrorist attack on the Garissa University College in Kenya.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, President Jonathan utterly condemned the deliberate targeting of innocent persons, schools and other soft targets by terrorists.

He said that “such atrocious, despicable and barbaric acts of violence” ought to have no place in any civilized society.

The President assured President Uhuru Kenyatta and the brotherly people of Kenya that Nigeria stands in full solidarity with them as they come to grips once again with the aftermath of another heinous terrorist attack on their country.

Nigeria, President Jonathan affirmed, would continue to work with Kenya, other African countries and the international community to rid the world of all terrorist groups.

The President believes that the attack on the Kenyan University and other similar atrocities across the world must strengthen and solidify the resolve of the global community to take more urgent and co-ordinated actions to speedily defeat the agents of global terror.

Al Shabaab Storms Kenyan University, 70 Killed

Al shabaabScores of people were killed on Thursday when Islamist militant group al Shabaab stormed a Kenyan university campus, taking Christians hostage and engaging security forces in an extended shootout.

With scores of students wounded and hundreds unaccounted for, Police and soldiers surrounded Garissa University College. They sealed off the compound and were trying to flush out the gunmen, Kenyan police chief, Joseph Boinet said.

Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attack near the Somali border. The group has links to al Qaeda and a record of raids on Kenyan soil in retaliation for Nairobi sending troops to fight it in its home state of Somalia.

Authorities offered a 20 million shilling ($215,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of a man called Mohamed Mohamud, described as “most wanted” and linked to the attack.

Al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, said it was holding many Christian hostages inside.

“We sorted people out and released the Muslims,” he told Reuters. “Fighting still goes on inside the college.”

Boinet said the attackers had “shot indiscriminately” while inside the university compound.

Earlier reports said at least 14 people had been killed, including two security personnel while the Red Cross said 50 students had been freed.

Interior Minister, Joseph Nkaissery, in his initial statement also said 280 of the 815 students at the university had been accounted for and efforts were underway to track down the others, according to the Twitter feed of Kenya’s national disaster agency.

It did not say how many students remained trapped on the campus. Some had managed to escape unaided.

One image provided by a local journalist shows a dozen blood-soaked bodies strewn across a single university classroom, raising the likelihood that the death toll will rise significantly when the security services clear other al Shabaab-held parts of the campus.

“We heard some gunshots and we were sleeping so it was around five and guys started jumping up and down running for their lives,” an unnamed student told Reuters TV.

Death Toll Rises To 70

The death toll in the university attack in northeastern Kenya later rose to at least 70 on Thursday, with another 79 wounded, but the siege was almost over, Kenya’s Interior Minister, Joseph Nkaissery, later said.

Nkaissery told reporters in Garissa that about 500 out of 815 students were accounted for, while four al Shabaab fighters were killed and 90 percent of the threat eliminated. However, he cautioned that “the operation is ongoing, anything can happen.”

At the same press conference in Garissa, Kenyan police chief, Joseph Boinet, said the East African country has introduced a dusk to dawn (6.30pm – 6.30am) curfew for four regions near Somalia border as a security precaution.

“We have 49 casualties so far, all with bullet and (shrapnel) wounds,” said a doctor at Garissa hospital.

Four Kenyan Policemen Killed In Suspected al Shabaab Raid

Four Kenyan police officers were shot dead in the border county of Garissa when 40 heavily armed men, suspected of belonging to Somali militant group al Shabaab, attacked a police post, a senior regional government official said on Saturday.

The east African nation, which sent its troops into Somalia in late 2011 to pursue the al Qaeda-linked militants, has suffered a string of gun and grenade attacks claimed by al Shabaab group as retaliation.

“Four administration police officers were killed during the attack and we are now preparing to transport their bodies from the scene,” Garissa County Commissioner Rashid Khattor said.

“Our initial assessment points to the attackers being al Shabaab militants who crossed over the border and carried out the hit and run attack,” he said.

A local teacher was also injured in the attack at Galmagalla late on Friday, Khattor said.

Last month, al Shabaab released two Kenyan government officials it had seized in a 2012 cross-border attack, after holding them in Somalia for more than a year.

The attacks have damaged Kenya’s tourism industry, also hit by a massive fire at its main international airport last week in peak season.

Kenyan police seize over 150 bomb detonators from Nairobi house

Kenyan police seized more than 150 detonators in Nairobi on Friday, highlighting the security risks the east African country faces ahead of an election next year because of its struggle with al Qaeda-linked militants in neighbouring Somalia.

“I can confirm the detonators were seized at one estate. They are dangerous explosives,” Moses Ombatti, a deputy regional police official in Nairobi, told Reuters on Friday.

The house where the detonators were seized was in the Githurai neighbourhood, a suburb just outside the business district.

The assassination of Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo and the ensuing violence – in which churches were torched and two grenades were thrown at police vehicles – has raised fears that more violence may follow ahead of a presidential election in March 2013.

There are also fears that the unrest could become sectarian in Mombasa, a tourist hub and a major Indian Ocean port, where grenade attacks blamed on Somali militants and their sympathisers have already strained Muslim-Christian relations.

Muslims predominate in many Mombasa neighbourhoods.

Rebels promised to carry out revenge attacks in east Africa’s largest economy after Kenyan troops crossed into Somalia last October to fight al Shabaab. Since then, there have been several attacks on churches and bars in Kenya.

Kenya’s December 2007 election was marred by violence that killed more than 1,200 people and nearly tore the country apart after a dispute over the results.

Kenya police arrest 9 community leaders after clashes kill 53

Kenyan police have arrested five clan leaders and four chiefs in connection with an attack that killed 53 people in a long-running dispute over land and water in a rural part of the east of the country, a senior provincial official said on Friday.

Armed with machetes, bows and arrows and spears, attackers from the Pokomo ethnic group locked villagers from the rival Orma group in their homes, set the structures alight and killed anyone who tried to escape late on Tuesday.

Settled Pokomo farmers and semi-nomadic Orma pastoralists have clashed intermittently for years over access to grazing, farm land and water resources.

Samuel Kilele, government commissioner for Coast province, told reporters in the port city of Mombasa the arrested elders are accused of organising and leading the raid and the chiefs of failing to alert authorities about the planned attacks.

“They had prior information which they did not share with us so that we could intervene before the attacks occurred. We have sacked all of them, and will take them to court next week to face charges of complicity and abetting crime,” Kilele said.

“We are pursuing 10 other ring-leaders of the attack, whose names we have, and who will assist us to arrest all those who participated in the killings.”

The initial death toll of 48 rose to 53 after five more victims died in hospital, with 12 others still undergoing treatment, police said.

The Kenya Red Cross has put the death toll at 6.

Kenyan police arrest two Iranians over explosives

Kenyan police said on Friday they had arrested two Iranians after they seized chemicals they suspected were going to be used to make explosives in Mombasa, which has been hit by a series of attacks.

The port city, the capital Nairobi and other parts of Kenya have suffered a series of grenade attacks since Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year to try to crush al Shabaab insurgents it blames for a surge in violence and kidnappings threatening tourism in east Africa’s biggest economy.

Police arrested the Iranians on Wednesday in Nairobi. On the same day, police impounded a container in Mombasa originating from Iraq and suspected to be carrying explosives.

On Thursday, police flew one of the suspects to Mombasa, where he led police to recover 15 kg of powder, which security experts took to their laboratory for testing.

“They are cooperating well. They are giving us key information that might help us reduce terrorist attacks in the country,” Ambrose Munyasia, a senior police officer at the Coast region told Reuters.

“We want to find out whether these substances are linked to any terror groups, including al Shabaab, al Qaeda and any other group,” Aggrey Adoli, Coast provincial police officer, added.

Francis Kimemia, Kenya’s acting head of civil service who was in Mombasa, said the government had sought the help of international agencies such the FBI and Interpol in helping deal with security threats.

“We have been working with them in terms of identifying criminals. We cannot fight terrorism alone. You have to work with other partners and other state organs,” he said.

In the most recent attack, a bomb exploded in a trading center in the heart of Nairobi in late May, wounding more than 30 people. One person later died from their injuries.

Gunmen also detonated grenades outside a nightclub in Mombasa in May, killing one person and wounding several others.

Al Shabaab seeks to impose a strict version of sharia, Islamic law. The group emerged as a force in 2006 as part of a movement that pushed U.S.-backed warlords out of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

At present it also has hundreds of foreign fighters in its ranks.