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Security agents recover yet another cache of deadly weapons in Garissa

By Adow Kalil Jubat | August 28th 2015

Security agents believe they have pre-empted a major terrorist operation on Kenyan soil after they seized yet another dangerous cache of weapons on Wednesday.

North-Eastern Regional Co-ordinator Mohamud Saleh said the cache was recovered in a joint operation by members of the Kenya Defence Forces, police and intelligence personnel raided a rented house in Garissa's livestock market.

Saleh displayed the deadly weapons; seven rocket-propelled grenades, three AK-47 assault rifles, 227 rounds of ammunition, four magazines, 160mm hand grenades and timers for detonating improvised explosive devices to journalists in his office yesterday. Also found in the house during the operation was fertiliser, which Saleh said the criminals could have been planning to use to make explosives.

Police believe the weapons were to be used to launch simultaneous terror attacks in Garissa and major urban centres such as Nairobi and Mombasa.

The weapons are believed to have been smuggled into the country by Al Shabaab militants from Somalia.

The Regional Co-ordinator said security agents raided the house after they received tips from terror suspects they arrested last week.

He said the suspects, currently in police custody, are believed to been among those who took part in Garissa University College attack on April 2 this year. The claimed the lives of 142 students and four security officers.

The recovery comes only days after seven pistols, seven grenades, 20 rounds of ammunition and 15 magazines were seized in Garissa Ndogo trading centre in Garissa town.

Eight Tanzanians suspected to have been planning to cross into Somalia to join Al-Shabaab were also arrested.

"We got some tips that led us to unearth the cache at the livestock market from criminals who we arrested last week. Our officers acting on the intelligence gathered from those in our custody raided the market and recovered the weapons, which were meant to destroy vital Government installations and places of worship within Garissa town," Saleh said on Wednesday's incident.

Following the recovery of the weapons, Saleh said, some more suspects had been apprehended. He did not, however, reveal the number of suspects in police custody, saying this could jeopardise ongoing investigations.

"It's our mandate to ensure we protect Kenyans going about their business and ensure they live in an environment free from fear of attacks by criminals. These weapons you see here are very dangerous, they were meant to harm Kenyans and destroy their property," he said.

The Regional Co-ordinator said with the help of members of the public, security agencies have been able to forestall terror attacks that were at an advanced stage of planning.

He ordered landlords to register all their tenants with chiefs.

"I give instructions that in the next 14 days all landlords in the entire region must provide details of their tenants to the chiefs, who will in turn submit the same information to the county commissioners and sub-commissioners, who will take the same information to the police," he said.

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