These youth rescued by Kenya Defence Forces after being recruited by Al-Shabaab arrive at Malindi International Airport, Kilifi County, on April 30, 2018. PHOTO | CHARLES LWANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP
The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) rescued 13 youth who had been recruited by Somalia-based terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
The youth of ages between 18-34 were rescued while in Ras Kamboni, Somalia, on April 29 following statements their parents recorded with police.
The youth were on Monday flown to Malindi, Kilifi County, from Kiunga where they were received by Malindi OCPD Matawa Muchangi.
"They will be with the police for profiling and to know exactly what they went through; whether they require counselling. Tomorrow they will be reunited with their families," Mr Muchangi said.
The returnees – who are from Kilifi and Lamu counties – were recruited on March 26 this year.
A senior security officer who asked for anonymity told journalists that the youth were recruited by a man known as Mohamed Ali, a resident of Marereni in Magarini Constituency, who had promised to give them a fishing job.
"He then organised for their transportation to Somalia using a boat owned by a resident of Kiunga, who then ferried them to Somalia and later handed them to another man," he said.
The rescue mission took place after some of them managed to contact their families and security personnel.
The security officer said Mdoa and Bula Haji in Somalia, where they youth were based, are all Shabaab bases.
He further said that the KDF has managed to rescue more than 1,100 youth since 2011; majority are Coast residents.