GARISSA, Kenya, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) — Kenyan police arrested two terror suspects after foiling a major terror attack in northeastern border town of Garissa.
Interior security ministry said on Sunday the police also recovered a cache of firearms and grenades from the duo in an operation in Garissa town in the past two days.
“There is an ongoing operation to nail and arrest the accomplices. The operation is to tame a terrorist plan. Security agencies have recovered a cache of firearms and explosives,” the ministry said.
The weapons included seven assorted pistols and three grenades and were hidden in a house that the suspects had hired.
According to police, the weapons were sent there by a terror cell in neighboring Somalia and were to be used in attacks at undisclosed places.
Al-Shabaab militants have vowed to stage more attacks on Kenya after the east African nation soldiers made cross border incursion into southern Somalia in 2011 to flush out the insurgents it blamed for kidnappings of tourists.
But Kenya’s security officials have pointed at a possibility that other interests were orchestrating the attacks under the guise of Al-Shabaab, which usually claim responsibility for such attacks.
The arrest came after the African Union and Somali forces have increased air strikes in southern Somalia which borders Kenya’s northeastern region in operations that has seen the AU forces capture several Al-Shabaab strongholds.
The ministry said a special team of detectives from Nairobi that had been tipped off of the whereabouts of the weapons staged the raid on Saturday morning and arrested the two.
Another suspect linked to the recovery is on the run and officials are hunting him, police said.
Interior Ministry said the plot to attack Kenyans was hatched from Somalia but facilitators were within the country.
The arrest followed a continuous investigations and monitoring of a terror cell that has been planning an attack in Kenya. The plan was to attack a crowd using pistols and grenades.
Officials aware of the plans refused to disclose the targeted places. Security checks have been mounted on the Nairobi-Garissa highway to nab more suspects and weapons.
The operation started on Saturday morning when police arrested a wanted suspect on a bus in Madogo area.
The officers said the suspect had been to Dadaab refugee camp posing as a refugee and that he was a marked gun runner. No weapon was found on him then but he led the officers to the hideout.
Police are on alert and have been mobilized to tame the gun merchants who are determined.