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Kenyan forces intensify search for abductors

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kenyan security forces have intensified the search for armed kidnappers who seized four aid workers from Dadaab, Ifo II refugee camp on Friday and secured border regions with war-torn Somalia.

Kenyan army spokesman Cyrus Oguna said Saturday that the forces have stepped up the hunt and more security forces have been sent to the area to make every possible effort adding that so far, no one has been rescued.

"The search is intensifying and more security forces have been sent to make every effort possible but, so far, no one has been recovered," Kenyan army spokesman Cyrus Oguna told AFP.

Those abducted are from Canada, Norway, Pakistan, and the Philippines working with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). A Kenyan driver was killed and two others were wounded during the attack.

Philippine foreign affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez has said the embassy in Nairobi had asked the Kenyan government for assistance, and was coordinating with the embassies of the other hostages.

The aid workers' vehicle, which the gunmen seized after killing the driver, was found abandoned a few hours after the attack.

Two Kenyans who were injured in the attack at Dadaab's Ifo II camp, northern Kenya and are receiving treatment at the GIZ hospital in Dadaab.

Dadaab District Commissioner Albert Kimathi said the gunmen attacked two vehicles belonging to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Friday and shot dead the Kenyan driver before driving towards the Somali border.

Kimathi said police have recovered the two vehicles adding that more officers have been deployed at the border points to ensure the gunmen do not cross to Somalia.

Kenya, which invaded southern Somalia in October to counter Al-Qaeda linked Islamist insurgents, has troops some 120 kilometres (75 miles) deep into Somalia. However, the forces control only pockets of the vast territory.

The kidnapping is the latest in a series of attacks in Dadaab, where gunmen last October seized two Spaniards working for Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). They are still being held hostage in Somalia.

The abduction of the Spaniards was one of the incidents that prompted Kenya to send troops and tanks into Somalia to fight the Shabaab insurgents.

Fire exchange

Meanwhile, one man was killed by a stray bullet along Kenya Somalia border when Al shabab militants who were fleeing from the Kenya Defence Forces engaged in a heavy gun battle at Sinai in Hulugho district.

Hulugho District Commissioner Benedict Nduva said Osman Hussein Doya was killed during the exchange of fire at Sinai area.

The DC said the deceased was returning home after herding his goats when the Al shabaab remnants and Kenya defence forces that had left Hulugho military base collided at Sinai.

Nduva noted that the Al shabab remnants have been fleeing the port of Kismayu and trying to intermingle with the local people.

He called on Hulugho resident to be vigilant and ensure the disgruntled elements are reported to the authorities.

Security has been beefed up along the border Kenya Somalia.


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