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Security chiefs devise new strategies to combat terrorism

07 April 2014, 17:36

Nairobi - The country's security chiefs are meeting in Nairobi on Monday to devise new strategies of combating terrorism as leaders vowed to continue crackdown on criminals who have caused insecurity.

The meeting which has been convened by the ministry of interior has brought together all county police commanders and county commissioners to discuss terror threats and criminal.

"We will come up with new strategies to combat terrorism and all manner of crime in this country at the end of the meeting later today," said an official from the interior ministry.

The meeting comes as President Uhuru Kenyatta said the ongoing purge on terrorists will not stop until the country is freed of their threat.

Speaking hours before he left the country for Rwanda late Sunday, Kenyatta urged those politicizing the crackdown on the criminals to stop criticizing the government for doing the right thing.

"We are not fighting any religion or community. Our fight is against criminals who kill innocent children, women and men going about their everyday activities including praying," the President said.

As the Government steps up the war against terror including employing additional security officers, Kenyatta appealed to all Kenyans to contribute to the eradication of the menace by volunteering information that will lead to the arrest of terrorists.

"Security is a responsibility of every Kenyan. If we all work together, I am confident we will succeed in ensuring our country is safe at all times," the President said, adding that Kenyans must realize that security is a collective responsibility and everyone should be vigilant.

The president's remarks came as the police discovered bomb- making materials in one of the houses searched. The Sunday operation also unearthed training manuals used by members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist outfit.

Police said they recovered chemicals and materials used to manufacture Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other paraphernalia from a house in Eastleigh suburb.

Nairobi police commander Benson Kibue said they are looking for a Somali refugee identified as Ibrahim Aden Ibrahim, 30, in connection with the recovery.

"The chemical is explosive and we ask members of the public to cooperate so that together we can secure our country," he said.

Kibue said Ibrahim is supposed to be in Dadaab refugee camp but instead lives in a rented house where the materials were found, adding that police are; "surprised he is here now with bomb - making materials.

"We do not know where he planned to use the explosive," said Kibue, adding that a major manhunt for suspects being bomb making in Eastleigh is underway.

Kibue said over 2,000 people have been arrested since the swoop started last week. On Saturday alone, 500 people were arrested for lack of identification documents, 355 were released while the rest were to be taken to court on Monday.

Residents of the 'little Mogadishu' because of it's predominantly Somali population have raised concern over the security operation which said violates human rights.Eastleigh has been the scene of frequent terror attacks but the police have warned residents and travellers to be extra vigilant and volunteer any information that may assist in the investigations.

There has been a string of attacks by Al-Shabaab militants and their sympathizers in Nairobi, Mombasa and northern region since Kenya sent troops into Somalia on October 2011 to subdue the insurgents who were blamed for a series of murders and kidnappings on the Kenya soil with northern region being one of the worst hit by the attacks.

The soldiers in the UN-backed AU force has intensified their offensive against the Al-Qaida allied terrorist group, pacifying some of the areas surrounding the capital including the strategic city of Kismayu amid reports the militants were now headed to Kenya to retaliate.

However, Kenyatta said that 10,000 police officers will be recruited in 2015 to beef up security, adding that 2,000 regular police officers who graduated week will be posted to different parts of the country.

"With adequate security, we will be able to attract more investors and expand our economy rapidly which will in turn create employment for our young people," the President said.

Kenyan officials have also expressed concern in the past that the frequent terrorist attacks in the Eastleigh area was damaging the image of the country and destroying the tourism industry and tasked the team to find out the cause of the terror attacks and come up with immediate solutions to address the situation.

- Xinhua

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