Kenya tightens noose around Somalis after blasts

357325_Kenya-policeKenyan security forces have stepped up security measures in the capital, Nairobi, mainly targeting Somali nationals, after a string of blasts in the city.

On March 31, at least six people were killed and several others injured in a grenade explosion near a food kiosk and bus stop in Nairobi.

The blast took place in the capital’s Eastleigh — a suburban area which is often known as ‘Little Mogadishu’ because of its predominantly Somali population.

In the wake of the Monday bombings, Kenyan security forces launched a full-scale operation in the suburb, mainly targeting Somali nationals living in Nairobi, and arrested more than a thousand people.

Somali community leaders have criticized security forces for forcing their way into homes and arresting people. Local people have also accused security forces of being corrupt, brutal and using blanket punishment.

No group claimed responsibility for the Monday attack. Such explosions are, however, usually blamed on Somalia’s al-Shabab group. The group had claimed responsibility for an attack on a Nairobi shopping mall back in September 2013 which left at least 67 people dead.

Al-Shabab had said the last September raid was in retaliation for Kenya’s military presence in Somalia.

The Kenyan forces are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) fighting against the al-Shabab group.

Somali has been the scene of clashes between government forces and al-Shabab since 1991.

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