October 17th, 2011
09:54 AM ET

Somali militants threaten to enter Kenya if troops don't withdraw

Islamic militants in Somalia have threatened to "come into Kenya" if Kenyan forces do not leave Somalia, according to an online message posted on a jihadist website.

"Kenyan troops have entered 100 kilometers into Somalia, and their planes are bombarding and killing residents," said Sheikh Ali Mahmud Ragi, spokesman for Al-Shabaab, an Islamic extremist group considered a terrorist organization by the United States, in the posting. "We shall come into Kenya if you do not go back."

Kenyan forces crossed into Somalia to pursue Al-Shabaab fighters after the recent abductions of tourists and aid workers in Kenya heightened tensions in East Africa. Kenya invoked the United Nations charter allowing military action in self-defense against its largely lawless neighbor.

"If you are attacked by an enemy, you have to pursue that enemy through hot pursuit and to try (to) hit wherever that enemy is," said Kenyan Defense Minister Yusuf Haji in a news conference aired on CNN affiliate NTV on Sunday.

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