Kenyan and Somali security agencies have thwarted a terrorist attack inside Kenya and arrested six suspects.
Two of the suspects were Kenyans ferrying bombs into Kenya before they were intercepted in Bula Hawa, an adjoining town in southern Somalia, in a joint security operation between Kenyan and Somali security forces.
"The six were captured alive and their bomb-making equipment seized. Complete anti-personnel explosive devices (A-IED) were found in their hotel room," said the police.
The authorities said suicide borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIED), bomb-making material including trinitrotoluene (TNT) and fragmentation-generating objects including nails, ball bearings, and shrapnel were found.
"An assortment of assault rifles and ammunition were also recovered. The six planned to sneak into the country through Bula Hawa," police said.
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The Kenyans were identified as Abdulahi Daud Adan and Ismail Issak Mohamed, both from Mandera. Police have stepped up efforts to prevent attacks following reports that a number of terrorists had sneaked into the country and could be planning attacks.
Officers responsible for counter-terrorism operations said given what was happening in Europe and parts of Asia, Kenyans should expect more attacks.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said they were working hard to protect Kenyans.
"Although many terror plots have been thwarted, there have been unfortunate incidents in the country in which Al Shabaab elements sneaked in and attacked innocent Kenyans. Security agents remain vigilant and are hunting for terrorists who attempt to sneak into our country," he said.
"There is a risk of local operatives attempting to stage copycat attacks we are seeing in other parts of the world. In this respect, we have heightened vigilance on our part and appeal to the public to be watchful for any suspicious activity."
An official working at the National Counter Terrorism Centre said: "The reality that many refuse to face is that there is no intelligence solution to the jihadist problem that now exists in the region."
He said there were large populations of angry people, "a certain percentage of whom are truly radical".
The official said Kenya's intelligence and policing operation devoted to counter-terrorism was efficient and skilled, yet utterly dwarfed by the scope of the threat.
At least 30 police officers and civilians were killed in May along the Kenya-Somalia border after their vehicles ran over improvised explosive devices.