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Thousands of Somali Immigrants Detained by Police in Kenya

Image: More than 3,000 detained since the launch of ongoing security crackdown in Kenya
A Somali woman looks on as she is put in a car with others to be taken to the police station after being arrested for carrying a damaged identification card and failing to produce ID during a security crackdown operation in the Somali neighborhood of Eastleigh, in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 9. DAI KUROKAWA / EPA

More than 1,000 Somalis are being held by Kenyan police in a soccer stadium, according to reports, after being arrested in a week-long sweep through Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighborhood, which has a large Somali population. Over 3,000 Somalis have been detained in the last week, as police say the arrests are part of a security operation to rout out terrorists.

In the photo above, a Somali woman is put in a car with others to be taken to the police station after being arrested for carrying a damaged identification card and failing to produce ID, on Wednesday.

Image: Policeman stands guard as suspected Somali illegal migrants and refugees arrested in swoop are processed for deportation at holding station in Nairobi
A policeman stands guard as suspected Somali illegal migrants and refugees arrested in a swoop are processed for deportation in Kenya's capital Nairobi, on Wednesday. THOMAS MUKOYA / Reuters

Kenya last month ordered all Somali refugees living in urban areas to return to their camps in a bid to end attacks by Islamist militants carried out in retaliation for Kenya's intervention in neighboring Somalia.

Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku issued the order citing "emergency security challenges" in Kenyan towns, but the move is likely to be criticized by rights groups which have discouraged similar actions in the past.