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Kenya - Terror suspect arrested in Mara charged

A suspected member of the al Shabaab arrested in Masaai Mara Game reserve was Monday charged in a Nairobi court with plotting terror attacks in the country. Mr Abdi Rizzack Muktar Edow faced five counts of terrorism linking him to an attack in Mandera on June 1, 2014 where security agents reportedly killed two "renowned Al -Shabaab members".

He is also accused of holding a radicalisation meeting scheduled for February 2 at the Masjid Musa mosque where he allegedly invited people "to further the cause of the terror group." The prosecution said Mr Muktar owned a saloon car which he hired to one Sheikh Hassan on May 31, a day before the vehicle was intercepted at a road block where its occupants defied an order to stop, prompting an exchange of gunfire that led to the death of the two known al Shabaab members.


Terror suspect Abdirizack Muktar Edow in a Nairobi court Monday where faced five counts of terrorism and links to the Al Shabaab

"The said vehicle was searched and eight hand grenades were recovered amongst other paraphenalia...the accused was arrested on June 2 at the Masai Mara Game Reserve with the help of mobile phone tracking, "prosecutor Duncan Ondimu told the court.

He asked the court to deny the suspect bond "due to the prevailing security situation in the country "and the ruling on his request will be made Tuesday morning. The prosecutor said anti-terrorism sleuths had presented a sworn affidavit linking Mr Muktar to planned terror attacks.

Mr Muktar denied the first charge stating he facilitated a terrorism act by providing the vehicle that was used in the May 31 attack in Mandera town. He also denied being a member of the al Shabaab. The prosecution said that on June 2 at Talek area within Narok County, he was found in possession of a mobile phone which had articles for use in instigating the commission of terror.

He was also accused of collecting information for use in committing terror after a video "for use in the commission of a terrorist act" was allegedly extracted from his cell phone. "The accused was found to be in constant communication with al Shabaab members in Somalia after his phone was subjected to a forensic analysis," Mr Ondimu added.

The prosecutor said that when the suspect was arrested, his mobile phone had details of invitations he sent to people to attend a meeting on February 2 at the Masjid Musa. "The agenda of the meeting was for the furtherance of the cause of the al Shabaab terrorist group in contravention to Section 25 of the prevention of terrorism Act," he said.

"This court should take judicial notice that there are a number of terror related attacks in the country...due to the seriousness of the offences and the possible penalty of a 130 year jail term in case of a conviction, he should remain incarcerated until the completion of the case, "Mr Ondimu said.

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US says Sudan increasing attacks on civilians

The US ambassador to the UN has accused Sudan of intensifying attacks on civilians and of deliberately bombing schools and hospitals. Samantha Power condemned the attacks in the southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, which she said were being carried out by the Sudanese government and its support forces against ordinary people.

Ground and air attacks have increased since April, with hundreds of barrel bombs and other explosives dropped on towns and villages, deliberately targeting hospitals and schools, she said. Power also condemned on Thursday the alleged targeting of civilian aid workers, which she said would seriously violate international law if proven accurate, the AFP news agency reported.


Power said civilians were vulnerable to disease and malnutrition because of the conflict in southern Sudan

Ethnic minority rebels in the area have been fighting government forces for three years, in a conflict which the UN says has affected more than one million people. Unrest has been fuelled by grievances among non-Arab groups over neglect and discrimination by the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum.

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Kenya attack: Mpeketoni near Lamu hit by deadly raid

At least 48 people have died after unidentified gunmen attacked hotels and a police station in a Kenyan coastal town, officials say. Witnesses in Mpeketoni said gun battles lasted for several hours and reported seeing buildings set on fire.

The town is on the mainland near Lamu island, a well-known tourist resort. Kenya has suffered numerous militant attacks since 2011 when its forces entered neighbouring Somalia to combat the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group.

mpeketoni2Hotels, restaurants and the police station were attacked

This is the most deadly attack in Kenya since at least 67 people were killed during a siege at Nairobi's Westgate shopping centre last September carried out by al-Shabab. Kenyan army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said the attackers were "likely to be al-Shabab, but the group has not yet commented.

Other unconfirmed reports said the attack was linked to a land dispute between rival communities in the remote area.  The BBC's Yusuf Dayo in Nairobi says the attack started at 20:30 local time (17:30 GMT) on Sunday as locals were watching a football World Cup match on television.

mpeketoni5Mpeketoni is on the mainland near the tourist resort of Lamu

Local residents told the BBC the gunmen hijacked a van and used it to attack various locations across Mpeketoni, which tourists travelling by road pass through before crossing to Lamu. Witnesses said gunmen, who had their faces covered, threw explosives into the local police station before entering and stealing weapons.

mpeketoni7Police say they are searching for the attackers

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27862510

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