Kenyan PM warns of tough action against terrorists
Kenyan Prime Minister on Thursday toured the scene of Sunday’s bus bombing in Nairobi and warned that the government will ruthlessly deal with the perpetrators of the violence against innocent people, APA reports.
The prime minister who addressed Eastleigh residents that the government will not let terrorism take root in the country and all terror groups will meet the full wrath of the law.
“As a government, we will not abdicate our responsibility to provide security to people and their property,” he said while visiting the scene of Sunday’s bus blast in Eastleigh which has claimed the lives of 10 people.
Odinga’s remarks came as a group of people were prosecuted in a Nairobi court over Eastleigh clashes between ethnic Somalis and Kenyans that also saw property worth millions of shillings destroyed.
Police arrested three suspects believed to have been involved in the mayhem that erupted following a blast in a public service vehicle that killed nine people.
During the visit to Eastleigh, Odinga also lashed out at xenophobic attacks against members of the Somali community after Sunday’s explosion and appealed to all Kenyan communities to live peacefully together, saying all Kenyans should enjoy equal rights irrespective of their ethnicity.
“Our diversity should be our source of strength and not weakness,” said the prime minister who arrived in the country early on Thursday after a week-long visit to Malaysia and South Korea.
He particularly called for religious tolerance among people of different faiths, saying terrorism transcended religion, race, and tribe. Odinga insisted that criminals must be treated as individuals not as members of a tribe.
Earlier in court, the prosecution of the suspects was delayed for more than two days as the court sought to verify the age of some youth, majority of who were of Somali origin. The defense lawyers said 37 minors were arrested.
However, Kibera Senior Principal Magistrate Teresia Matheka released the adults and the foreigners on 2,350 U.S. dollars bond or a cash bail of 1,180 dollars and one contact person to register with the court for the case facing the foreigners.
The minors and the students were set free on 1,180 bond or a cash bail of 590 dollars. Regional police commander Moses Ombati had earlier told journalists in Nairobi that the three suspects arrested after the Sunday bus bombing are all Kenyans and are being interrogated in order to provide further information on the key planners.
“We have three suspects in custody who are assisting the police to trace the financiers and planners of the terrorists attack,” Ombati said. According to police, a bomb exploded in a public service vehicle that was ferrying passengers from the city center.
“However, we cannot reveal the identity of suspects as they could become witnesses later on. Owners of buses can reduce the threat of terrorism by implementing tight screening measures before any passenger boards the vehicle,” he said.
Police particularly warned against the laxity in the screening of cars for explosives at all shopping malls and any business or social gatherings with at least 10 people at any given moment that these might be vulnerable to attacks.