World Bulletin/News Desk
Deputy President William Ruto announced on Sunday that Kenyan forces had killed over 100 members of the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab since Saturday's bus attack in the north-eastern town of Mandera.
"Two successful operations on the hideouts of the perpetrators of the Mandera executions were swiftly carried out across the borders," Ruto told a press conference.
"Our retaliatory action left in its trail more than a hundred fatalities," he added.
According to the deputy president, Kenyan troops also destroyed the camp from which the Mandera was planned.
At least 28 people were killed when militants attacked a bus traveling to the capital Nairobi from the north-eastern town of Mandera on early Saturday.
The attack was claimed by Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda-linked group opposed to the deployment of Kenyan troops in Somalia.
"On behalf of the president and millions of Kenyans around our country, I extend our deep condolences to the families of the people who lost their loved ones," said Ruto.
He said the rapid action of the Kenyan security forces is itself a huge victory against regional militant networks and shows that the government is protecting its citizens against internal and external aggression.
In recent years, Al-Shabaab has carried out attacks in Nairobi and in Kenya's northeastern region.
In September 2013, at least 67 people were killed in a four-day-long hostage-taking saga in an upmarket Nairobi shopping mall that was eventually claimed by Al-Shabaab.
The deputy president said Al-Shabaab has been evicting worshippers from mosques to use them to plot their attacks.
"For some time now, houses of worship have been turned into planning and logistics abodes for Al Shabaab and affiliate gangs," Ruto insisted.
"Many live in fear owing to threats made to them from the mosques by sections of the congregation," he added.
The deputy president said Kenyan forces "guided by sounded intelligence" launched coordinated operations on four mosques "which had been taken over by radicalized youths" in the coastal city of Mombasa.
He added that the operations had confirmed that houses of worship had been converted into armories for guns, grenades and bombs.
"No mosque has been taken over by our security forces," Ruto insisted.
He vowed that Kenyan security forces will make sure that mosques are safe for every worshipper.
"There are people among us who sympathize with, harbor, facilitate and defend terrorists, quite shockingly some of these people are elected leaders," said Ruto.
He insisted that leaders must be accountable to answer questions when required.
The raids on Mombasa mosques had sparked off confrontations with angry Muslim youths and drew criticism from some religious leaders.Last Mod: 24 Kasım 2014, 10:11