The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Release Hostages Unconditionally, Al Shabaab Told

The Somali government and Kenya security agents have dismissed threats issued by Al Shabaab militants that they will execute Kenyan hostages unless terror suspects held in Kenya are released.

Somalia ambassador to Kenya Mohammed Ali Nur said the threats are an indication of the waning influence of the Al-Qaeda linked insurgents.

"We condemn threats issued by the Al Shabaab to Kenya. We want the hostages released unconditionally," said Nur. "These are the last kicks of Al Shabaab."

The insurgents issued an ultimatum to Kenya on Wednesday to release all prisoners held on terrorism charges through their twitter page.

The terror group further demanded the intervention of the Kenyan government to secure the release of Muslims extradited to Uganda for terrorism charges.

The suspects were arrested over the July 2010 twin bomb attacks that killed at least 74 people in Kampala.Speaking yesterday at the Mombasa law courts Nur said, the Al Shabaab insurgents are holding only three Kenya civilians.

Nur said almost all the major towns in Somalia that were under the control of the Al Shabaab have been liberated by the Amisom troops.

"We believe that in a few months time, the whole country will be liberated and will be under the transitional government. So, they better give up," said Nur.

The head of the Ant-Terror Police Unit, Boniface Mwaniki said the government will not negotiate with the Al Shabaab."The position of the security agents is clear, we will not hold any talks with illegal group," said Mwaniki. "Let them free them unconditionally."

The ATPU boss said Al Shabaab is an amorphous organisation "It will be contemptuous if I comment on matters before court," said Mwaniki.

The Al Shabaab terror group has been accused of being behind a spate of grenade attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and Garissa.

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