Nairobi - Somali militants linked to al-Qaeda urged Muslims
to boycott Kenya's presidential election on Monday and wage jihad against the
Kenyan military which sent troops into neighbouring Somalia in late 2011 to
help crush the rebels.
The Islamist al-Shabaab rebel group told Kenyan Muslims, who
account for about 11% of the population, that the Nairobi government treated
them as foreigners and second-class citizens.
"Your regions are the least developed in Kenya and have
the least facilities. You have been misled by the false promises of the
presidential candidates and the same empty promises are repeated on every
election campaign," al-Shabaab said in a statement cited by the US-based
SITE service on Monday.
"What is incumbent upon you now is to ... boycott the
Kenyan elections and wage jihad against the Kenyan military for they cannot
afford to continue fighting an invasion abroad as well as an internal conflict
at home," it said.
Kenya, voting for a new president on Monday, has suffered a
wave of violent attacks since it sent soldiers into its anarchic neighbour in
October 2011, which Nairobi has typically blamed on al Shabaab and local
Most of the attacks have occurred in the capital and close
to the Somali border
In Garissa, a largely Muslim town with a significant ethnic
Somali population, two civilians were shot dead late on Sunday, local officials
said. Earlier, the head of Kenyan police said the incident had been a grenade
attack. A bomb also exploded in the Mandera area, near the border, wounding
Under pressure from an African Union-led military offensive,
al-Shabaab has steadily lost territory and influence in Somalia over the past
18 months, but remains the biggest threat to regional stability. It has,
however, failed to deliver on threats to carry out a spectacular attack in
Kenya's military intervention in Somalia earned widespread
popular backing at home and has barely registered in election campaigning.