Kenya security shake-up after quarry massacre; Prez pledges 'war against al Shabab'
Somali Al Shabaab militants said Tuesday in a statement that they were behind the killing of 36 Kenyans in Mandera county in northern Kenya.
Nairobi: After 36 quarry workers were massacred by militants in Mandera in north east Kenya near the border with Somalia, President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to intensify the war against the al Shabab group, besides engineering a security shake-up by dismissing the country's Interior Minister Ole Lenku and police chief David Kimayo.
Speaking in a televised address, President Kenyatta vowed to step up the fight against the al Qaeda-linked al Shabab group that has since 2011 launched more than a hundred of attacks in Kenya.
Kenyatta called al Shabab attacks “war against Kenya and Kenyans” which”every one of us must fight".
In light of continued attacks by al Shabab, Kenyatta replaced the country's Interior Minister, naming an opposition politician and an ex-army general, Joseph Nkaissery to the post.
He also accepted the resignation of David Kimaiyo, the police chief, who said he was stepping down, taking the responsibility for the failure to avoid the attacks.
The shake up in Kenyan security comes in the wake of deadly attack by the al Shabab on quarry workers in Kormey, near the north-eastern town of Mandera which is located on the border with Somalia.
The al Shabab reportedly singled out non-Muslims, lined them up and shot them to death killing 36 quarry workers.
Al Shabaab, Somalia's Islamic extremist militants, have become an increasingly dangerous force for Kenya since October 2011 when Kenyan troops were deployed in Somalia.
The militants say their attacks in Kenya is in retaliation to their troops` action in Somalia.
As recently as last week in November, the al Shabab had attacked a bus in northern Kenya and killed 28 passengers after singling them out for not being able to recite Koran.
Al-Shabab had also claimed responsibility for other attacks on Kenya's coast earlier this year which killed at least 90 people.
Also, last year they had carried out an assault on Nairobi's upscale Westgate Mall in September 2013 in which 67 people were killed.
Kenya has been on the receiving end of al Shabab attacks since it sent troops into Somalia in October 2011.