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Soldiers rescue abducted teacher from suspected 'al Shabaab'

GARISSA (Xinhua) -- Kenya military forces have rescued a teacher who had been kidnapped by suspected 'al-Shabaab' militants in the northeast Garissa County.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Col. David Obonyo said Judy Mutua, a teacher who was abducted on Monday, was rescued on Friday morning in a coordinated security operation by the KDF, the Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) and Somalia National Army (SNA).

"During the joint rescue operations, KDF/RDU/SNA killed one of the abductors while another was arrested," Obonyo said of the operation which took place at Shaba-Difu, about 15km into Somalia.

He said Mutua was currently receiving treatment at a secured location and will be airlifted to Nairobi in the course of the day.

"KDF remains committed in its mandate to defend and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the republic while assisting and cooperating with other authorities in situation of emergencies," Obonyo said.

At the time of abduction, Mutua was working with Windle Trust, a non-governmental organization working at the sprawling Hagadera refugee camp.

Speaking to journalists in Garissa, Northeastern Regional Coordinator Mohamud Saleh said during the fierce shootout, one of the kidnappers was killed while four of his accomplices escaped with gun wounds injuries. One security officer was slightly injured.

"We mounted a massive land and air operation immediately the incident took place and we have been pursuing the kidnappers since then.

"I want to commend area residents for their cooperation that led to the successful rescue of the teacher,"Saleh said.

He said the security offices are in hot pursuit of the four militants, adding that "we shall not rest until all the culprits are brought top book".

"The lady has gone through a lot of traumatizing experience and she has to undergo some medical checkup before being brought to Garissa," he added.

Mutua was abducted on Monday morning when the vehicle she was travelling in was waylaid by the gun brandishing militants between Hagadera and Dadaab camps who ordered the driver out and sped towards the border.

She was supposed invigilate this year’s school examinations.

The authorities have also blamed the militants for being behind spates of kidnapping of expatriates working in the sprawling refugee camps in the incursion-prone northern region and tourists in the coastal archipelago towns of Mombasa and Lamu.

Analysts say refugee camps often do pose security challenges for host countries.

Armed groups throughout the world have used them for recruits, shelter, and food, and it is likely 'al-Shabaab' does the same.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Kenyan police intensify operation to rescue kidnapped teacher

GARISSA (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s security agencies have intensified massive joint operation backed by military helicopters in northeastern county of Garissa to rescue the teacher who was spotted near the border with Somalia on Thursday.

The teacher Judy Mutua working with a non-governmental organization Windle Trust was kidnapped by suspected 'al-Shabaab' militants at the sprawling Hagadera refugee camp. She was spotted in Kulan area of Libio on Wednesday.

Acting Deputy Inspector General of Police Joel Kitili confirmed on Friday security agents are using all available resources and means to ensure that Mutua is rescued dead or alive.

"The local community in and around Dadaab refugee complex are ready to assist security officers to rescue the lady even across the borders," he said.

Kitili who he presided over the graduation of 29 police officers trained on combating terrorism, said the local community have been very co-operative in providing information that is assisting the police to truck down the abductors.

Mutua was working with Windle trust an NGO based in Dadaab and was supposed to invigilate this year’s school examinations in the area.

Kitili assured workers, members of the public in and around Dadaab that security agents are on high alert adding that police are also investigating the possibility that the 'al-Shabaab' terror group are changing tact.

Meanwhile a herder who allegedly spotted the militia on Thursday believed to be behind the abduction near Liboi has gone missing.

Abduwahid Abdiqadir was roughed up by the militia who realized he had spotted them warning him not report the matter to the police or they will kill him.

He however reported the matter to Kulan police station only for him to disappear.

It’s not clear whether the militiamen are responsible for his abduction.

Kenyan authorities have expressed fears that 'al-Shabaab' derives support from the refugee community, yet closing Dadaab in this manner would ultimately make Kenya less safe.

Kenyan authorities have also blamed the militants for being behind spates of kidnapping of expatriates working in the sprawling refugee camps in the incursion-prone northern region and tourists in the coastal archipelago towns of Mombasa and Lamu.

Analysts say refugee camps often do pose security challenges for host countries.

Armed groups throughout the world have used them for recruits, shelter, and food, and it is likely 'al-Shabaab' does the same.

Kenya claims that the mastermind of the Garissa attack had a support network in Daddab, one of the world’s largest refugee camp and the camp is also a trafficking hub for smuggled goods some of the proceeds of which directly fund 'al-Shabaab'.

             

 

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