Two Kenyan soldiers who disappeared after suspected Al shaabab militants attacked their truck in Lamu last weekend returned to their camp alive and well, police said on Thursday, dispelling prior rumors that they had been kidnapped.
Suspected militants on Sunday ambushed a military lorry that was ferrying food from Hindi village in Lamu, to Ras Kamboni, on the Kenya-Somalia border, where KDF soldiers camped in an ongoing anti Al shabaab operation, killing two soldiers and losing one of their own.
The truck had developed mechanical problems and stalled on a hill where the ambush took place, and the Kenyan soldiers who were with others on the truck, could not be traced, raising fears that they may have been taken hostage by the militants.
But Lamu area police chief Samuel Obara confirmed that two soldiers returned to their base safe saying they had not been kidnapped.
“The two had pursued a gang of the militants who they thought had run and hid in the Boni forest after the Sunday attack, but they lost direction on their way back because of the thickness of the forest,” Obara told Baraka FM.
He said no KDF officer had been injured in the Sunday attack except the two that were killed.
Obara added that they suspected at least two of the militants were wounded during the attack, and asked local residents to watch out for any people appearing in local hospitals with bullets wounds.
“We spotted a trail of blood going into the forest and we believe some of the attackers were wounded,” he said.
He was however reluctant to comment on two G-3 rifles allegedly taken from the two slain soldiers, saying it was a matter under investigation.
KDF officers were already in a major operation to hunt for the surviving attackers behind the Sunday offensive, Obara said.
In 2012 three al shabaab suspects were killed by KDF soldiers in the same area at Boni forest in Lamu.
The three had been among a gang of seven who entered the country illegal through the border.
An AK 47 rifle and 60 rounds of ammunition were recovered from them.