Kenya declares curfew in strife-hit Mandera

Soldiers of the Kenya Defence Forces patrol at the scene of an attack by Shabaab militants in Mandera, on October 25, 2016 (AFP Photo/STRINGER) (AFP/File)

Nairobi (AFP) - Kenya's government on Thursday announced a 60-day dusk to dawn curfew in the northeastern town of Mandera, hit by two deadly terrorist attacks in three weeks.

Interior minister Joseph Nkaissery issued the order two days after Shabaab militants killed 12 people at a hotel in Mandera town on Tuesday.

He said the curfew, from 6:30 pm to 6:30 am would begin on Thursday and remain in place until December 27.

It would be enforced along a 20 kilometre (12 mile) buffer zone of towns and territory reaching to the Somalia border.

This week's attack was the second in Mandera in less than three weeks, with both claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab group.

The Shabaab has fought to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu since 2007, but turned its sights on Kenya when the army was sent into Somalia in 2011 to fight the Islamic insurgents.

Since then the militants have targeted civilians in different parts of Kenya, including a dramatic assault on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall in 2013 in which at least 67 people were killed.

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