Kinloss engineers to remain despite UK civilian withdrawal from Kenya

A group of Moray-based Army engineers are to remain in Kenya despite the withdrawal of British holidaymakers from the troubled country.

British tourists were flown out from Mombasa as two bombs exploded in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, with local authorities saying that ten people had been killed and around 70 injured.

The explosions followed similar attacks in the country earlier this month, and that led the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office to amend its travel advice for tourists in Kenya or intending to travel to the country.

As a result UK tour operators cancelled holidays and made immediate arrangements to fly 500 tourists home.

However, it has been confirmed that troops from 39 Engineering Regiment based at Kinloss Barracks were also currently in the area but would not yet be returning home.

The troops are taking part in a long-standing arrangement that sees them living and working on several Kenyan engineering projects.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “Elements of the regiment are deployed to Kenya as part of a long-standing regimental service. Kenya offers the regiment the opportunity to carry out engineering works in an austere environment with challenging logistics.

“The work they are undertaking involves the upgrading of infrastructure as well as providing some expertise to projects being developed to benefit the local community.

“The engineers and other UK military personnel will be staying in Kenya – nothing has changed.”

A warning from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office cited a “high threat of terrorism, including kidnapping” in Kenya, with the main threat said to be from extremists linked to alShabaab.

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