Police raid Nairobi Somali district, arrest 500
By Yassin Juma, Saturday, April 05, 2014
NAIROBI - Kenyan police on Saturday arrested some 500 suspects in Nairobi's mainly Somali neighborhood of Eastleigh.
"This national operation will continue and we are not going back with this," Police Inspector General David Kimaiyo told Anadolu Agency.
"We have to finish what we have started until every Kenyan is safe," he added.
Police are targeting illegal immigrants and terror suspects.
A directive issued by Kenyan authorities two weeks ago asked all refugees in urban centers - estimated to number nearly 50,000 - to relocate to two designated refugee camps in the mostly arid northern areas of Dadaab and Kakuma.
Eastleigh local police boss Barasa Wabomba said they had discovered some fake Kenyan national IDs used by Somali refugees.
He told AA that most of those arrested had no appropriate documents, adding that they were being detained in six police stations near Eastleigh.
Police swoops have been continuing since Kenyan authorities launched a massive operation to restore security after a spate of attacks in capital Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa.
Last week, six people were killed after Eastleigh was hit by triple explosions.
Gunmen attacked Mombasa's Joy in Jesus Church last month during a Sunday morning service, killing six and wounding a number of others.
The attack came a few days after Kenyan authorities announced they had foiled a major terrorist plot after seizing two men driving an explosives-laden car through the coastal city.
Inspector General Kimaiyo confirmed to AA that so far 2000 suspects had been arrested nationwide.
The operation, however, continues to face criticism from the local Kenyan Somali community amid accusations of extortion, rape and brutality.
Aden Dualle, a Kenyan Somali politician and leader of the majority in parliament, has threatened to ditch the government and the ruling party, accusing authorities of targeting Muslims and the Kenyan Somali community.
"Any officer caught receiving bribe or acting brutally during the operation will have to face the law," said Kimayo.
Kenya has been on high security alert since last September's Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi in which 67 people were killed. The attack was claimed by Al-Shabaab.
The militant group has threatened continued attacks on Kenyan interest until the latter withdraws troops deployed in Somalia since 2011.
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