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Canadians warned to keep away from Kenya

Jessica Hume, QMI Agency
(Reuters)

(Reuters)

The department of foreign affairs is urging Canadians in or traveling to Kenya to exercise 'a high degree of caution' after the Somalia-based Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab publicly warned of an imminent terrorist attack in the African nation.

"Canadians should exercise a high degree of caution, particularly in the coastal belt in Kenya," Ian Trites of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, told Sun News.

The U.S. embassy yesterday pulled out its government workers from Kenya after hearing of an attack planned for Mombasa, a port city on the Indian Ocean.

Tensions between Kenya and neighbouring Somalia are nothing new. Security fears were raised ast October after two Doctors Without Borders workers were kidnapped from Dadaab, one of the largest refugee camps in the world that is home to hundreds of thousands of Somalis.

Kenyan forces invaded Somalia following the October kidnapping and Al Shabaab has vowed retaliation ever since. Kenya has been victim to numerous grenade and bomb attacks in recent months and kidnappings are almost a regular occurrence.

Sites frequented by expatriates are frequently targeted by Al-Shabaab. Last month alone, more than 30 people were killed in attacks in the Central Business District of Nairobi, the Bella Vista night club in Mombasa and at Dadaab, where a police officer was among those killed after a bomb was remotely detonated.

A shop-owner living in the Dadaab camp was killed Friday by a group of masked gunmen, though DFAIT could not confirm whether their warning was linked to the attack.

Kenyan capital Nairobi hosts Canada's largest mission to Africa and the two nations continue to have strong trade relations.

Canada gave $47.1 million in aid to Kenya between 2010 and 2011 and has contributed significantly to humanitarian relief efforts in Dadaab.



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