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US issues fresh Kenya travel warning

The US State Department warned American citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya, after heightened threats and recent violence in some areas of the East African country.

US nationals should “evaluate their personal security situation” before travel, the State Department said on Friday, updating a previous warning issued in September.

“The US government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at US, Western and Kenyan interests in Kenya, including in the Nairobi area and in the coastal cities of Mombasa and Diani,” the
warning said.

Kenya has been hit by a series of attacks since sending troops into southern Somalia in 2011 to battle al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab rebel group – the deadliest being the assault by al-Shabab fighters on Nairobi’s Westgate
shopping mall that claimed 67 lives.

“In the past year and a half, there have been numerous attacks involving shootings, grenades or other explosive devices in Kenya,” the State Department said.

“US citizens in Kenya should be extremely vigilant with regard to their personal security, particularly in crowded public places such as clubs, hotels, resorts, shopping centers, restaurants, bus stations and places of worship.”

On Tuesday, prominent Muslim cleric Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, also a vocal supporter of al-Qaeda and its late leader Osama bin Laden, was gunned down in Kenya’s port city of Mombasa.

Prior to his death, he had accused Kenyan security forces of seeking to kill him.

On Monday explosions in the Kenyan capital killed at least six people and injured 25 others.

Last month gunmen stormed a church near the coastal city of Mombasa and opened fire on worshippers, killing six people and wounding 20 others. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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