Kenya intensifies border patrol, security checks after shopping mall attack

NAIROBI, (PNA/Xinhua) — Kenya’s security forces have intensified border patrol and security checks following the Westgate shopping mall attack in which 68 people were killed and more than 180 others injured.

Marsabit County Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru said Monday that security has been beefed up along borders of the East African nation with Ethiopia and Somalia.

“We have doubled security patrols along the bordering countries to ensure that the suspects don’t flee the country following the attack,” Nakoru told Xinhua.

He said the security apparatus in the region has been ordered to scale up their security checks and ensure that no bad guys get in or out of the country following the attack after the Al-Shabaab militia group claimed responsibility.

Nakoru also decreed that all lodges, hotels and bars in the region enhance their security including screening visitors.

He said police have been deployed around the border areas and all gathering events especially in churches and other joints to check on security.

He believes that further terrorist attacks by militants could be avoided by taking adequate security measures.

Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet confirmed early Monday that 68 people had been killed after the Al-Qaida-linked Somalian gunmen stormed Westgate Mall on Saturday and opened fire on shoppers randomly.

Gullet said his agency had been overwhelmed by people who volunteered to donate blood following shortage at hospitals.

Westgate Mall, which is situated at the heart of Nairobi, hosts more than 80 stores. At least 10 people were still being held hostage in two areas of the sprawling complex by the attackers.

On Sunday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga addressed a joint press conference in sign of solidarity.

Kenyan authorities said they would do their utmost to save the hostages’ lives.