Nine suspected Al-Shabaab militants were shot dead in Lamu after security agencies laid an ambush on them as they were laying explosives on the road. The militants were ambushed by the security team at Kwa Omolo between Baragoni and Bodhei as they were attempting to plant explosives on the Hindi-Bodhei road in Lamu.
A joint Security team spotted the militants and engaged them in gunfire killing four militants on the spot while several others escaped to the Boni Forest with injuries. The security personnel then pursed the militants killing another five militants in the ensuing engagement.
A spokesman from the security agencies indicated that one militant managed to escape with severe injuries. The security agencies recovered seven AK-47 assault rifles, 270 rounds of ammunition, four hand grenades, communication equipment, military attire, medicines and assorted foodstuff from the makeshift Al-Shabaab camp in Arosen area.
Security agencies indicated that they had prior intelligence of planned attacks by the Al-Shabaab terror group in the area and were on high alert. A tip off from the members of the public enabled the security agencies to pinpoint the exact location of the militants who were planning to attack security convoys and civilian vehicles plying the Hindi-Bodhei road.
The killing of the militants comes as security agencies continue to intensify operations against the Al-Shabaab militants in the along the Kenyan-Somali border, specifically the Boni forest, in Operation Fagia Msitu – Formerly Operation Linda Boni. The operation has seen a huge decrease in the number of attacks by the terror group in the coastal region.
Lamu has in the past borne the brunt of Al-Shabaab attacks. In January 2018, seven police officers were killed and a few others injured when a landcruiser vehicle they were travelling in drove over an explosive device planted along the Hindi-Kiunga road in Lamu. Five days later, heavily armed gunmen raided Pandanguo village in Lamu killing several people. Since then, security agencies have managed to stabilize the situation and the area has witnessed fewer attacks. The porous border with Somalia and the expansive Boni forest allow the militants to cross over from Somalia and launch attacks.
Security agencies had warned of the possibility of Al-Shabaab increasing attacks during and after Ramadan especially in the North Eastern Region and the Coast. Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri has said that deployment of security agencies to comb the forest had been increased and that the joint security teams comprising of the Kenya Defence Forces and the National Police were scouring the forest to ensure that the Al-Shabaab elements are all neutralized.
He called on the members of the public to continue providing the valuable information that has led to thwarting of numerous attacks and apprehension of Al-Shabaab adherents in the area.