Gunmen kidnap 3 teachers at Kenya refugee camp, police say

AP News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2017 8:43 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Gunmen have kidnapped three Kenyan teachers from the world's largest refugee camp, police said Thursday.

Three men with pistols abducted the teachers with the Udha Academy in the Hagadera section of Dadaab refugee camp, according to a police report seen by The Associated Press. The camp in eastern Kenya holds more than 200,000 Somali refugees.

Mohamud Saleh, the northeastern regional security coordinator, said security forces cordoned off the area and sealed the route into neighboring Somalia, where the gunmen are suspected to have come from.

No group has claimed responsibility for the latest kidnapping from the camp.

Kenyan authorities have expressed interest in closing Dadaab, claiming it has become a recruitment and training ground for Somalia's extremist group al-Shabab. But authorities have not provided proof, and a court recently blocked a plan to close the camp at the end of May.

Al-Shabab has carried out several attacks in Kenya, including the April 2015 assault on Garissa University in which 148 people were killed. The extremist group has vowed retribution on Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight it.

Kenyan government blamed al-Shabab for the kidnapping of two Spanish aid workers from Dadaab camp in October 2011 and said that incident and other cross-border attacks led to its decision to send troops to Somalia. The workers were released after 21 months in captivity.

In June 2012, four international aid workers were kidnapped from Dadaab in an attack that saw a Kenyan driver killed. They were rescued days later. The attack also was blamed on al-Shabab.