Suspected al Shabaab attack stopped in Kenya


Kenyan police thwarted an attack by suspected Somali militants al Shabaab on a Chinese-owned construction company , an official said, days after the Islamist group killed 21 people in Nairobi.

The assailants wounded one person when they attempted to hit the site in Garissa county, not far from the Kenyan-Somali border, owned by a Chinese road construction company building the Garissa-Modogashe highway.

“The attackers were repulsed because security officers were alert. There was exchange of fire before the attackers escaped,” county police commander David Kerina told Reuters, adding the injured person was a watchman’s wife.

“I believe the attackers, who were armed, might be Somali militants. They fled, but we intensified security operations. So far no arrest has been made.”

Kerina give no more details about the attack or the site.

Al Shabaab, a Somalia-based al Qaeda affiliate fighting to impose its interpretation of Islamic law, claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s assault on the upscale dusitD2 hotel and office compound that has rocked Kenya.

The group targeted Kenya in revenge for sending troops to Somalia, but said the dusitD2 attack was due to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Police arrested nine people over the hotel attack, including one listed as Canadian.

On Monday, a magistrate’s court in Nairobi ordered three suspects to be detained for 30 days and another for 10 days, to allow investigations to be completed.

On Friday, another five suspects were ordered detained for 30 days.

On Sunday, Kenya police circulated by Twitter pictures and names of eight people they were seeking for involvement in the assault or planning fresh attacks.

Al Shabaab killed 67 people in a 2013 assault on a shopping mall in the same neighbourhood as last week’s attack in Nairobi, a hub for expatriate businessmen, diplomats and aid workers.

In 2015, the group killed 148 students at Garissa University, the worst militant attack for almost two decades.