13 January 2012

Somalia: Shabaab Displays Four Abducted Kenyans

The four Kenyans abducted by Al-Shabaab on Wednesday have been displayed by the militants in a Somali town, local media has reported.

The militants paraded the four, among them a district officer, and a chief in the town of BardherBardere, Gedo region, about 380 km southwest of Mogadishu.

They also displayed a vehicle they took during the raid on an Administration Police camp in Gerille town, Wajir on the Kenya-Somalia border.

The Kenyans and the vehicles were displayed in different neighbourhoods in the town before being taken to a local square.

The militants also disconnected all communication equipment with the outside world, fearing that they may become victims of revenge air strikes.

More abductions

Media reports quoted the militants warning that they would continue to raid towns inside Kenyan territory and carry out killings and abductions.

This is in retaliation to the military operation by the Kenya Defence Forces inside Somalia. The Islamists invaded Gerille town and bombed the camp, reducing it to ashes.

Six persons, including two APs, were killed and three others were injured.

In a statement, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said about 100 heavily-armed bandits attacked Gerille Administration Police Post in Wajir South District at around 6.30pm.

The bandits stole firearms, ammunition and a car from the post. "The bandits also committed arson by burning several properties within the post," said the commissioner.

North Eastern deputy provincial commissioner Wenslas Ongayo said most of those killed and injured were shot while fleeing to safety.

"The locals were heading to the mosque and other centres for evening prayers while the registration officers were distributing IDs," said Mr Ongayo.

Al-Shabaab later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in response to Kenya's decision to send troops into Somalia last October.

Endangering security

Kenya deployed a large force in southern Somalia in mid-October hot pursuit of Al-Shabaab militants whom it accused of endangering its security and economy.

Nairobi accused Al-Shabaab of kidnapping Western tourists and aid workers from Kenya.

The latest development comes at a time when Kenya and the African Union have submitted a request to the United Nations Security Council to allow KDF troops join the continental force combating Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

Major powers at the council have backed the mission but urged caution.

The deployment of KDF personnel would bring the total number of AU troops fighting the militants to 17,731. - Nation Reporter and AFP.

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