Police beef up security amid terror alerts by European embassies

Hillary Mutyambai and Interior and Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i

Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai (left) and Interior and Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i. 

Photo credit: Diana Ngila | Nation Media Group

The National Police Service (NPS) has urged Kenyans to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities to authorities amid terror alerts issued by several European embassies in Nairobi.

The NPS has also assured members of the public that security has been beefed in the country.

"The service has re-engineered its police units in line with modern-day policing dynamics, challenges and emerging threats. Security operations that ensure that imminent attacks are forestalled remain our priority," the statement issued by NPS on Friday says.

The assurance by Kenya's security organs comes after the French Embassy on Thursday January 27 warned that persistent threats against Western nationals in the country pose a real risk. It said that terrorists are targeting public places frequented by foreign nationals including restaurants, hotels, places of leisure and shopping malls especially in Nairobi.

“People in Kenya are advised to exercise extreme vigilance and avoid frequenting these public places in the coming days, including this weekend,” the alert reads.

On its website, the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office (FCDO) advised against non-essential travel to areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border, Eastern Garissa County (up to 20km North-West of the A3).

Others are Mandera County (Excluding Mandera West Sub County), Lamu County (Excluding Lamu Island and Manda Island), areas of Tana River County North of the River Tana (up to 20km North West of the  A3) and within 15km of the Coast from the Tana River down to the Galana (Athi-Galana-Sabaki) river.

Dutch and German embassies in Nairobi have also issued similar advisories.

On Monday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i urged Kenyans to remain alert and report any suspicious activities to the police to prevent possible terror attacks.

Dr Matiang’i attributed past foiled attacks to information provided by patriotic Kenyans.

“Save for the challenge being experienced with terrorism in the country and the region, the country is largely peaceful and safe. The challenges we have in the region relating to terror are real and I have to be very frank with Kenyans and say that we have to be very cautious,” he warned.

Al-Shabaab terrorists

Security has been beefed up in Lamu following an attack by suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists at Lango la Simba area near Nyongoro.

Five judiciary officials were shot at and injured by gunmen as they headed to Garsen town from Kipini Mobile court at around 5:50pm Wednesday.

According to the police, the officials had spent the day attending court matters at Kipini village in Tanana River County.

On Sunday, terrorists also attacked a Chinese Construction Company Parking lot and destroyed eight trucks.

The National Counter Terrorism Centre has urged Kenyans to avail any information that will help foil such attacks.

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