Kenyan cops stop major terror attack

2012-09-14 11:35

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Nairobi - Police foiled the final stages of a plan for a major terrorist attack on Kenyan soil, officials said Friday, arresting two people with explosive devices and a cache of weapons.

Boniface Mwaniki , the head of Kenya's Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, said the two men arrested in a Somali immigrant area of Nairobi on Thursday night are suspected to have links with an al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant group.

Police found four suicide vests, two improvised explosive devices, a cache of guns and ammunition and 12 grenades, he said. Each of the vests had an AK-47 placed on its side and there were more than 480 bullets, meaning the terrorists were ready for deployment, he said.

The vests could be detonated remotely or by a main switch, he said.

They were similar to others used in an attack on the World Cup final in Uganda in which 76 people were killed in July 2010. Somali militant group al-Shabaab said the bombings were in retaliation for Uganda's participation in the African Union's peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

Kenya has suffered a spate of grenade attacks that have killed more than 50 people. Police have attributed them to sympathisers of al-Shabaab in Kenya.

Al-Shabaab has vowed to carry out terror attacks in Kenya in retaliation against the country for sending troops into Somalia to hunt the militants it blames for a series of cross border attacks, including the kidnapping of four Europeans last year.

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