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[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): Somalia's al Shabaab says has Kenyans in captivity

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 20:41:38 +0100

Somalia's al Shabaab says has Kenyans in captivity

Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:04pm GMT

* Some believed to be from Wednesday's cross border raid

* Kenyan military kills al Shabaab scout near their camp

By Feisal Omar and Abdi Sheikh

MOGADISHU, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Al Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia have
captured hostages and a Kenyan government vehicle after killing seven people
in an attack on a police camp in Northern Kenya on Wednesday, a spokesman
for al Shabaab told Reuters on Friday.

Kenyan security officers are searching for two government officials and a
civilian whom they suspect were kidnapped during the raid by about 100
heavily armed fighters on the police camp in Gerille, about 7 km (4 miles)
from the Somali border.

"We have Kenyan prisoners including officers. We also have with us a Kenyan
military lorry," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, a spokesman for al Shabaab, told
Reuters by phone. He did not give the exact number.

Kenya army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir told Reuters there was no
military vehicle nor military personnel in captivity.

A police officer in the Somali town of Diff, about 20 km (12 miles) from the
border, reported seeing three Kenyan captives unloaded from a van that was
part of an armed convoy.

"Three guys, whose faces had been covered, were seen as they disembarked
from one of the vans less than a minute after the van arrived," the officer,
who declined to be named, told Reuters.

Militants were also seen showing off hostages on the back of a pick-up truck
in Bardheere, more than 150 km (94 miles) from the border in Somalia's Gedo
region, suggesting they may be taking them deeper into the anarchic Horn of
Africa state.

"We saw two Kenyans in ordinary clothes who were tightly chained on a
pick-up that was said to be looted from Kenya. They were not Somali by
origin. Al Shabaab drove the pick-up slowly throughout the town," Bardheere
shopkeeper Hussein Hassan told Reuters.

Kenyan officials declined to comment on those reports, nor on whether they
were planning operations to rescue the captives. (Additional reporting Noor
Ali in Isiolo and Jacob Kuehn in Nairobi; Editing by Jacob Kuehn and Myra

C Thomson Reuters 2012 All rights reserved


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