Monday, February 28, 2011

Govt. on alert over militia threats-Kenya

The government has taken precautionary security measures following threats of attacks by the Somali militia group Al-Shabaab.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere says the threats by Alshabaab cannot be taken for granted considering they issued a similar warning to Uganda before bomb attacks that killed more than 70 people in July last year for which they claimed responsibility.

Addressing journalists in Nairobi on Monday Iteere said security has been beefed up on the Kenyan borders to avert entry of any illegal groups.

However, Iteere urged Kenyans not to panic and assured them that security personnel are on high alert. Ha called on the public to cooperate with security agents in case they encounter any suspicious individuals or groups.

The police boss also said calm has returned to the border town of Mandera following a week-long fighting on the Somalia side between Al -Shabaab militia, troops allied to the Somali transitional Government and Ethiopian troops.

During the fighting, one person was killed by stray bullets fired from Somalia and ten others injured.

The Al Shabaab have threatened to launch an attack against Kenya for assisting the Somali Transitional government by allegedly allowing Ethiopian forces to stage raids from its territory.

Meanwhile the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) has embarked on registration of Somalia refugees in Mandera town.

Following heavy fighting between Al-Shabab militants and forces allied to the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, along the Kenya-Somalia border, hundreds of refugees are scattered in Mandera town and its environs.

A lull in the fighting on Sunday enabled the KRCS personnel to start registration of refugees that would facilitate distribution of relief aid.

A team comprising the Provincial Administration, KRCS and medical officers has identified a site for a temporary refugee camp. KRCS has also deployed to Mandera relief items for 1000 households (6,000 people.

On 25th February 2011, gunshots hit KRCS Mandera Offices where six staff members were holed up.

A woman was killed at Border Point One and 10 casualties treated at Mandera District Hospital.

At least 17 people who sustained injuries following the conflict have been treated in various health facilities in the district.

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