Somali Islamists warn Kenya

2012-04-01 22:27

Nairobi - Somalia's Shabaab on Sunday warned Kenya of retribution and revenge attacks for sending tanks and troops across the border almost six months ago to fight the Islamist rebels.

"The Kenyan public must be aware that the more Kenyan troops continue to persecute innocent Muslims of Somalia, the less secure Kenyan cities will be; and the more oppression the Muslims of Somalia feel, the more constricted Kenyan life will be. Such is the law of retributution," the group said in a statement.

The statement comes a day after attacks in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa and a nearby town left one dead and 18 wounded and that the Kenyan government blamed on the Islamist group.

The Shabaab did not explicitly claim responsibility for the attacks, which targeted a church gathering and a restaurant patronised by non-Muslims in Coast province, which is predominantly Muslim.

But the group said: "The deteriorating insecurity in Kenyan cities is an embodiment of Kenya's misguided policies that place foreign interests above its national interests and the security of Western nations above the security of its citizens."

Last month when the Kenyan government blamed al-Shabaab for attacks in Nairobi that left nine dead and more than 60 wounded, the Islamists denied responsibility but threatened to carry out attacks on a much larger scale if Nairobi kept its troops in Somalia.

The Shabaab, which once controlled vast swathes of south and central Somalia, are under pressure on three fronts: from the African Union force in Mogadishu and from the Ethiopian and Kenyan armies and have now been chased out of the bulk of their strongholds.

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