At long last Kenyan cops abducted by Shabaab freed

Joseph Wambugu and Fredrick Chirchir, were kidnapped in an attack in May 2013 in Kenya's north-eastern Garissa district.

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  Shabaab militants play

 Shabaab militants

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Two Kenyan policemen who were being held hostage in Somalia by Shabaab militants for over two years have been freed, Kenya's police chief has said.

The police constables, Joseph Wambugu and Fredrick Chirchir, were kidnapped in an attack in May 2013 in Kenya's north-eastern Garissa district, when four other officers were killed.

Kenyan police chief Joseph Boinnet late on Thursday said the two were taken across the porous border into war-torn Somalia, where “they were moved from one Al-Shabaab hideout to another in a bid to defeat any rescue efforts by Kenyan security forces”.

According to him, Wambugu and Chirchir who were freed on June 25 but whose release was only made public on Thursday, were in “good health but traumatised.”

Boinnet gave no details of how they were freed, but thanked the “several security agencies which undertook this delicate rescue mission.”

Kenyan troops have been in southern Somalia since 2011 when they crossed into their neighbour to attack the al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab. They later joined the African Union force, AMISOM, which is supporting Somalia's internationally-backed government.

The Shabaa militants who are under pressure in Sumalia is now increasingly targeting Kenya, reports suggest.

The group has also stepped up attacks during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadaan, including killing 14 Kenyans on Tuesday in the northern town of Mandera.

In April, the al-Qaeda-linked militants massacred 148 people at the region's Garissa University, most of them students.

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