Kenya beefs up security after kidnappings
Johannesburg - Kenya has established six patrol bases near the country's border with Somalia, the Nation newspaper in Nairobi reported on Monday, after two tourists were kidnapped from the region in the past month.
The move comes after hundreds of Kenyan security forces, backed by armoured vehicles and helicopters, were suddenly deployed near the frontier last week, amid concerns the Islamist al-Shabaab militia was preparing to attack a key town just over the border in Somalia.
The government has since moved to have a more co-ordinated central command in Nairobi, fearing a larger spill over of the fighting in Somalia into its own territory.
Over the weekend, the government also announced it was stepping up its naval patrols in the Indian Ocean, in order to prevent militants coming into the country via the open waters.
A French woman was kidnapped this month and taken to Somalia in a speedboat by armed gunmen believed to be associated with al-Shabaab, which has ties to al-Qaeda.
The incidents are causing heavy damages to the vital tourism industry and hundreds of jobs have been lost as Britain and France warn their citizens to avoid parts of northern Kenya.