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5 Arrested in Kenya for al-Shabab Ties

Al-Shabab fighters march with their guns during military exercises on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, February 17, 2011

Kenyan police have arrested five people suspected of having ties to the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab.

Authorities believe the suspects were recruiting people to join the Islamist extremist group, which is based in neighboring Somalia.

Authorities say the suspects were apprehended near the coastal town of Lamu a few days ago. The suspects, who include Yemeni and Syrian nationals, were then flown to Nairobi for questioning by anti-terror police.

In recent months, Kenyan police have warned that al-Shabab militants planned to launch attacks inside the country. Police say al-Shabab is targeting Kenya because the country has helped Somalia's transitional government battle the rebels.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for bombings in Uganda's capital last July that killed more than 70 people.

Al-Shabab controls large sections of southern and central Somalia. But Somalia's government recently launched an offensive aimed at driving back the militants and has made significant gains in parts of the south and the capital, Mogadishu.

The group is trying to overthrow the United Nations-backed government and impose a harshly conservative form of Islamic law across Somalia.