Kenya: 5 suspected bombers killed

2014-10-20 10:00
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Nairobi - Kenyan and Somali soldiers killed five suspected Islamic extremist bombers attempting to cross into the country from Ethiopia in a car laden with explosives and six suicide vests, a Kenyan military spokesperson said on Sunday.

Bogita Ongeri said authorities recovered 100kg of TNT from the vehicle which was intercepted at Dolo, along Kenya's border with Ethiopia on Saturday.

Ongeri said security forces had been tracking the car which has Kenyan registration and were aware that the suspected terrorists had unsuccessfully attempted to gain entry into Kenya at another border point.

He said the five killed are suspected members of the Somali militant group al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaeda. Al-Shabaab has vowed to carry violent terrorism in Kenya because Kenyan troops are in Somalia fighting the militants.

Series of cross border attacks

Kenya sent its troops into Somalia in Oct 2011 to fight al-Shabaab after the Kenyan government blamed the extremist rebels for a series of cross-border attacks including the kidnapping of four western nationals.

Al-Shabaab are waging an insurgency against Somalia's weak UN-backed government which is bolstered by African Union troops.

The militants claimed responsibility for the attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall a year ago in which more than 67 people were killed by four Somali gunmen.

In March, Kenyan authorities with the help of the FBI, intercepted an SUV at the Kenyan coast with 173kg of explosives. Kenya police said two men, arrested on 11 March in the car spoke on the phone with militants in Somalia connected to the Westgate Mall attack.

Police believe the SUV was to be used as part of a three-pronged co-ordinated attack on the Mombasa International Airport at the coast, the ferry crossing and a shopping mall.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  al-qaeda  |  kenya  |  somalia  |  east africa

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