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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Al-Shabab frees two Kenyans after 5 days in captivity 

WAJIR (Xinhua) -- Somali militant group, al-Shabab on Wednesday released two Kenyans whom they had kidnapped last week from a village in Wajir County in the northeast region.

Mohamed Birik, Northeastern regional commissioner confirmed the release of the two camel herders following successful negotiations between two clans in Somalia. The two were abducted on Nov. 22.

Birik said the herders arrived safely in Khorof Kharar, noting that the government has stepped up security in border towns to avert cross-border incursions by al-Shabab militants.

“We have deployed more security personnel on the border areas to prevent a similar incident. Patrols have been enhanced at large,” said the government administrator.

Residents said the herders were abducted after they resisted to pay zakat (Islamic tax or offering) to the militant group that had come to Konton town in the area.

According to the residents, the militants had been roaming in the area for at least two days before kidnapping the herders and crossing with them into Somalia.

The unknown number of militants, who accused the herders of grazing animals at the Somali border, also took away six camels belonging to the herders.

According to local officials, the incident prompted elders from Degodia-Fai that reside in Wajir to visit the Marehan elders in Somalia to negotiate for the release of the two who were abducted along the Kenyan border while grazing their animals.

The elders managed to secure the release of the victims after five days of negotiations but did no secure the release of their camels.

Birik called on the residents to be vigilant and always share information with security agencies to help flush out the al-Qaeda allied terrorist group.
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