France warns of imminent terrorist attack in Kenya

The French Embassy in Kenya has urged people to exercise “extreme vigilance” over the coming days, saying there is an imminent threat of terrorist attacks against Westerners.

“There is a real risk of targeting public places frequented by foreigners (restaurants, hotels, leisure venues, shopping malls), especially in Nairobi,” the French embassy said in a statement on Thursday.

Further details about the threat or the source of the intelligence were not immediately released.

“Kenyans are advised to exercise extreme vigilance and avoid frequenting these public places in the coming days, including this weekend,” the statement added.

Maarten Brouwer, the Dutch ambassador to Kenya, said his French colleagues informed his embassy of the threat. “The information is deemed credible,” he said.

“Of course, we all hope that this threat turns out to be a false alarm, but we nevertheless want to share this information with you so that you can take your own precautions,” Brouwer said in a letter. “The information is, as usual, not precise: the time and place of the attack are unknown.”

Kenya has seen a number of attacks over the years, many of which have been carried out by al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab, based in neighboring Somalia.

In January 2019, gunmen and suicide bombers attacked a hotel and shopping complex in the Kenyan capital, killing at least 21 people, including two foreigners. And in 2013, gunmen attacked the Westgate shopping center in Nairobi, killing 67 people, including 19 foreigners, and injuring nearly 200.

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