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Tight security in Nairobi amid warnings of suicide attacks on hotels
Agence France-Presse | 12/03/03

Posted on 12/03/2003 3:55:55 AM PST by kattracks

Kenyan security forces were on high alert in the wake of warnings that suicide bombers might strike two top hotels in the capital, Nairobi.

"We are taking no chances. The tightened security will ensure that whoever is intending to carry out such attacks in Kenya will not do it so easily," police spokesman Charles Kosgey told AFP on Wednesday.

"We have tightened security everywhere to ensure the attacks do not occur, there is no cause for alarm," Kosgey added.

On Tuesday, the United States and the United Nations' large Nairobi complex issued alerts that two diplomatic missions had received warnings -- originating from an anonymous tip-off to the US Federal Bureau of Investigations' website -- that the city's Stanley and Hilton hotels were to be targeted Wednesday.

Extra police were deployed around both buildings and security elsewhere in the city was reinforced.

"We are open as usual, but we have beefed up security and put in extra security manpower to ensure security inside and outside the hotel," Hilton's Security Manager John Mbeche told AFP on Wednesday.

"Even those who hang around the hotel have been told to move on," Mbeche added.

Since the alert on Tuesday, several countries, including Germany, Israel and the United States, have warned their nationals against visiting Kenya.

On Tuesday, two other buildings in Nairobi, a branch of British bank Barclays, and an office block housing another branch of the bank as well as the French embassy, were briefly evacuated following anonymous phone calls warning of a possible bomb threat.

Kenya has twice been targeted by suicide bombers in recent years. Once in November 2002 when an Israeli hotel on the Indian Ocean coast was attacked killing 18, and in August 1998 when suicide bombers struck the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, killing 224 people

TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: africa; islam; kenya; mohammedanism; nairobi; targets

1 posted on 12/03/2003 3:55:55 AM PST by kattracks
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