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Garissa killings: Suspects arrested

20 April 2013, 14:57 Omondi Oloo

Nairobi - Police in Kenya arrested 110 suspects today in connection with the killing of nine people in a daring attack staged by ragtag Al Shabbab militia in the border town of Garissa.

The victims were shot at close range by hooded gunmen at a restaurant at night. Scores were also injured in the attack.

Police officers led by North Eastern Province criminal investigations officer, Vitalis Okumu, said police were interrogating the suspects, with a view to determining the motive behind the attack.

The suspects will be arraigned in court on Monday. Meanwhile, the death toll from the attack rose to 10 last night after one more victim succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment at a Garissa hospital, police say.

Kenyan security forces believe the Al Shabaab staged the attack to hit back after a recent operation in which the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) raided neighbouring Somalia to demolish the Al Qaeda-linked insurgents.

"We suspect there could have been an attack in Somalia that angered those who are hiding here and caused them to retaliate. It is sad that they are targeting innocent civilians," Okumu said on Friday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta through Cabinet Secretary Francis Kimemia, has ordered heads of Kenya’s top security agencies to visit Garissa to assess the situation and do everything it takes to identify and arrest the perpetrators of the killings.

“Local leaders must support security agencies in the operation to weed out the criminals.

"The Provincial Security and Intelligence Committee (PSIC) and the District Security and Intelligence Committee (DSIC) must be convened immediately to resolve the issue,” Kimemia said.

On Thursday, gunmen struck Holiday Inn Hotel in Garissa using an AK 47 rifle and shot indiscriminately as travelers were having dinner.  Garissa is a Kenyan town along the country’s border with the war-torn Somalia.

Residents say the hotel has been a target of terrorist attacks before. People suspected to be Al-Shabaab sympathisers hurled grenades at it last year, killing and injuring several people.

A number of Kenyans, including police officers have been killed in Al Shabaab grenade attacks in North Eastern and Nairobi during the past year.

The bloodiest attack occurred in Garrissa last July when terrorists hurled grenades at two churches, killing fifteen people, among them women and children.

- CAJ News


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