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Kenya Police Resort to Shoot-to-Kill Strategy in Fight Against Islamists: Reports

In order to fight terrorism, Kenyan Police could shoot first, but local human rights advocate noted that this step creates instability in society.

MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) – Kenyan Police who are countering attacks by Islamist militants from Somalia, pursue a policy of shoot first and ask questions later, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing a human rights advocate.

The violations are taking place "in the context of Kenyans combating terrorism," Jonathan Horowitz, legal officer at the George Soros-funded Open Society Justice Initiative, told Bloomberg.

"Extra-judicial killings…may feel like an appropriate short-term solution, but it's deeply misguided because it creates more instability," Horowitz noted, adding that such methods risk fueling public anxiety and insecurity among the general public, and increasing sympathy for al-Shabaab militants among young Muslims.

The situation in Kenya deteriorated after the country's troops went into Somalia in late 2011 to fight against members of the al-Shabaab militant group, which is linked to the al-Qaeda extremist organization.

Al-Shabaab militants started carrying out attacks in Kenya in response to the operation. The largest attack took place in September 2013 when al-Shabaab fighters attacked the Westgate shopping center in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi. According to official figures, 67 people were killed in the attack and 175 others sought medical assistance.

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