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11 Islamist fighters arrested: Somali premier

Ali Mohamed Gedi said at least 11 men had been arrested by Kenyan authorities as they tried to enter the country.

india Updated: Jan 02, 2007 16:57 IST

Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi said on Tuesday at least 11 men accused of fighting alongside the vanquished Somali Islamists had been arrested by Kenyan authorities as they tried to enter the country.

"Eleven Eritreans, Oromos and Somalis are already in the hands of Kenyan intelligence forces," Gedi said in Mogadishu, a day after Somali troops backed by Ethiopian forces seized control of the last Islamist stronghold in the south of the country.

"The Islamists are still moving trying to cross the border into Kenya. So we expect more people to be caught later on ... Everybody is mobilised here and in Kenya to arrest them," he added.

Oromos, from southern Ethiopia, make up the backbone of the separatist rebel Oromo Liberation Movement.

But Kenyan police said they were probing eight men, including Eritreans and a Canadian, who were arrested at they tried to cross the Liboi border point, hours after the Islamists fled their last stronghold in Kismayo, 500 kilometres south of the capital Mogadishu.

Among the eight there were three Eritreans, three Somalis, a Kenyan and a Canadian national of Ethiopian-Somali origin, they said.

Alarmed by the conflict moving south, Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki late Sunday said he will convene an urgent summit in the new year as chairman of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional group.

First Published: Jan 02, 2007 16:57 IST