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Police urges improved public vigilance in wake of terror attacks | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Rescuers transfer a wounded man at a blast site in Nairobi on January 26, 2019. At least one person was seriously injured after a suspected improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in a busy street in Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Saturday, the police said. XINHUA PHOTOS - NYALWASH

Kenyan police urges public vigilance in wake of terror attacks

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police said Sunday called on the public to remain on high alert and be extra vigilant especially in populated public places in the wake of terror threats in the country.

Joseph Boinnet, Inspector General of Police, said security officers have stepped up security surveillance across the country in the wake of the attack at dusitD2 hotel on Jan. 15 in which 21 people were killed and the latest explosion in Nairobi on Saturday evening which left two people slightly injured.

"It is critical that all citizens must step up their levels of alertness regarding their surroundings and provide information immediately to the police in case anything out of the ordinary is observed," Boinnet said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He said the security forces have increased surveillance measures in key installations, private and public places and urged the public to exercise caution while dealing with people with mysterious motives.

The police chief advised against the laxity in the screening of cars for explosives at all shopping malls and any business or social gatherings at any given moment that these might be vulnerable to attacks.

"We also wish to inform the public that whilst we have stepped up alertness on our highways, all police commanders have been instructed to apply to a court of law for forfeiture of any vehicle found with illegal immigrants and any form of contraband," said the police chief.

He also called on hotels, landlords, churches and public service vehicles including educational institutions to always endeavor to establish the identity of their customers entering their premises by examining their identification documents.

"We further advise that all hotel operators must obtain full details of their lodgers and restaurant operators must also step up their levels of alertness and security in their establishments," Boinnet said.

The statement came after two slightly people were injured on Saturday evening after a suspected explosive device went off along a busy Nairobi street.

Nairobi police commander Philip Ndolo said a man of Somali descent had allegedly hired a trolley pusher to move a carton box within the city when the package exploded.

The device inside the box is suspected to have been an improvised explosive device, he said, injuring the trolley pusher and a newspaper vendor.

The east African nation faces insecurity as bomb attacks using improvised explosive devices and grenades have been reported in Nairobi, northeastern and coastal regions since Kenyan solders entered Somalia in 2011 to secure the shared border with the lawless country.


Senior al-Shabab official killed in central Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali National Army (SNA) killed a senior al-Shabab official in an operation in the country’s central town of Jalalaqsi, officials said on Sunday.

Mohamad Nur Caga Jof, governor of Jalalaqsi,told journalists that two of SNA forces sustained injuries during the operation which was backed by African Union forces.

The forces killed one militant who represented al-Shabab in collecting taxes in Jalalaqsi and burnt combat vehicles used by the militants, the official said.

Residents in nearby towns told Xinhua that gunfight broke out in Jalalaqsi and lasted for several hours.

"We have been told that Somali government forces attacked al-Shabab fighters hiding in the town, there was huge gun fire exchanged by the two sides," a resident named Hassan Afrah told Xinhua.

Somali national forces and African Union Mission in Somalia intensified the operations on al-Shabab militants in central and southern Somalia, conducting consecutive operations to flush out al-Qaida linked group from these regions.

African Union plans to digitize data of all troops in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has announced plans to digitize data of all its troops in the Horn of Africa nation.

John Kisaale, a data management facilitator with the AU mission, said the digital integration of its personnel data is aimed at fast tracking the submission of troop nominal rolls.

"At the end of the day, we expect the running and management of personnel data will be smooth; and will translate to timely payment of the troops," Kisaale said in a statement issued on Friday evening.

He said the migration from paper-based data to an online database, is also expected to hasten compensation and payout of allowances to the Mission’s uniformed personnel.

According to AMISOM, at least 46 military and police personnel successfully concluded training on Friday, aimed at enhancing their knowledge on information and database management.

Participants were drawn from all AMISOM sectors and comprised of administrative officers, Board of Inquiry officers and data clerks, whose duties involve handling personnel issues and providing mission support.

"This course is therefore coming at the right time, as it will help us to manage our personnel in a more professional manner; to enable your effective contribution to the overall goal of bringing peace to Somalia," said Maurice Gateretse, AMISOM deputy force commander in-charge of support and logistics.



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