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North Coast police arrest al-Shabab suspect at a local hospital

LAMU (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police in coastal Lamu region have arrested a middle aged male terror suspect believed to have links with the al-Shabab terrorist group, the police confirmed on Saturday.

Paul Leting, Lamu County Directorate of Criminal Investigations Commander said the suspect was arrested on Friday evening by detectives at a local hospital following a tip-off on his presence in the county.

The DCI commander also indicated that the terror suspect had in his possession items believed to be bomb and improvised explosive devices (IED) making materials.

He said the items are being investigated by a team of bomb experts.

"We are holding a man who we highly believe is linked to the al-Shabab terror group.

"We have intelligence that he has been in contact with the commanders in terror group.

"We also have material we believe he was using to make bombs and IEDs.

"We don’t want to divulge much as the issue is still under investigation," said Leting.

The commander expressed optimism that more arrests will be made once the suspect is thoroughly interrogated.

Police are also trying to establish if the terror suspect has any links to medics at the county hospital and what he was doing at the staff quarters shortly before he was arrested.

Lamu County has been in the spotlight for some years now owing to increased scathing attacks by the militants that have left hordes of security officers and civilians dead.

In August, two terror attacks by suspected al-Shabab militants left at least 11 Kenya Defense Forces soldiers (KDF) dead in two separate attacks Lamu.

On August 08, six KDF soldiers were killed and five others seriously wounded after their vehicle ran over an IED at a local bridge in Lamu East Sub County.

On August 29, five KDF soldiers were killed and 10 injured after their vehicle ran over an explosive device on the Kiunga-Sankuri road.

The soldiers are part of a wider security operation launched to flush out al-Shabab militants believed to be hiding inside the expansive Boni forest in Lamu.

The operation was launched by the national government in 2015.


Somalia army has arrested 32 al-Shabab militants

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The Somali National Army (SNA) have arrested 32 al-Shabab militants after conducting military operations in Marka town in Lower Shabelle region southern Somalia.

SNA commander Odowa Yusuf Rage told the state-owned radio on Wednesday that the operations took around the port town of Marka on Monday and Tuesday.

"Somali National Army arrested 32 al-Shabab militants during military operations in Marka in the past two days.

"Some of them were caught while fighting, the rest are amniyat (secret spy units), bomb experts and tax collectors," Rage said.

He said the suspects will be taken to military court to face changes of belonging to terror group

The Somali National Army, backed by the African Union Mission troops, re-captured the town from al-Shabab fighters on Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants on Tuesday abducted 62 elders from locations between Guri’el and Mataban towns in Galgudud and Hiiraan regions respectively.

Ahmed Duale Gele, president of Galmudug State, confirmed that the militants took the elders to Elbur town in Galgadud region, a stronghold for the group, telling the group’s intention is to force them to pay annual taxes (Zakawat) and bring boys to them for fight.

The al-Qaida-allied militants group has not commented yet on the latest abduction.



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