Monday, October 24, 2011

Terror in Kenya?

The U.S. government warned its citizens and others just a couple days ago about possible terror attacks in Kenya. On Monday, as the CBC reports, those attacks began to materialize.
Grenade blasts at a blue-collar bar and a crowded bus stop rattled Nairobi on Monday, as the country worried whether al-Qaeda-linked militants from Somalia were carrying out their promise to launch reprisal attacks in Kenya's capital.
The Somali government again on Monday voiced its displeasure with Kenya getting involved in combating al-Shabaab, an Islamic group that controls part of Somalia. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times examines the difficulties Kenyan troops and Kenya itself faces in fighting al-Shabaab.
Shabab has carried out several major suicide attacks in the region, killing more than 80 in bars in Uganda last year and about 80 people outside a government compound in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, recently.
Some analysts have warned that given Somalia's history -- two decades with no functioning central government and numerous failed foreign interventions since the early 1990s -- Kenya could get bogged down in a military quagmire in the country.
Already troops are bogged down in a literal sense: The incursion came after seasonal rains that turned the roads into swamps and saw heavy military vehicles stuck in the mud.
Kenya's military operation is designed to prevent kidnappings of foreigners by pirates and extremists -- highly damaging to the country's tourist industry -- and to drive Shabab from its main base, the port city of Kismayo, a smuggling point for weapons and contraband.
As of Monday night (U.S. EDT), al-Shabaab had not claimed responsibility for the grenade attacks. 

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