Lamu, KENYA: Three employees of the Tana River County government were on Wednesday evening burnt beyond recognition after suspected al shabaab militants intercepted their vehicle at Lango la Simba area near Nyongoro in Witu-Lamu,along the Lamu-Garsen highway.
While confirming the attack on Thursday,Linda Boni operation boss Joseph Kanyiri said the three were torched inside the Toyota RAV 4 KAC 850V as they traveled from Hola for an official assignment at Kipini in Lamu, before the incident happened at around 6pm.
“Three people bodies were recovered inside the vehicle after the attack at Lango la Simba in Nyongoro.We learnt they were from Tana River county government who were heading to Kipini on official assignment before their vehicle came under attack.” Said Kanyiri.
The militants are said to have fired at the occupants before hurling a hand grenade inside the vehicle causing the deaths of the three.
Kanyiri said the three were on an official trip from Garsen to Kipini when the attackers intercepted the vehicle,sprayed it with bullets before setting it ablaze killing the three instantly.
“Their vehicle was shot at before being burnt with all of them inside.They were burnt beyond recognition. We have also recovered motorcycles torched in the previous bus attack.We are yet to account for the riders however,” added Kanyiri.
The attack came just less than three hours after another attack by suspected al shabaab militants on a passenger bus christened Kipini Raha at Nyongoro, before police escorting buses on the route repulsed the attack.
Five people were injured in the attack that happened at around 3.30pm Wednesday.
The militants are said to have set ablaze two motorcycles belonging local boda boda operators said to have been on the location at the time of the attack.
Kanyiri however denied that any one had died in the attack and said that boda boda operators who are believed to have fled for dear lives are yet to be accounted for.
Meanwhile,five passengers who suffered gunshot wounds during an attack on a passenger bus at Nyongoro area in Lamu on Wednesday evening have been evacuated for specialized treatment at an unspecified facility.
The five,two men and three women suffered gunshot wounds to the legs,shoulders while others have bullets lodged in their lower backsides.
Kanyiri said the five were however stable and out of danger.
He urged drivers plying the Lamu-Garsen highway to ensure they are accompanied by armed police escort, adding that enough officers had been deployed to man the situation and pursue the suspected militants.
He said security patrols along the route especially in areas considered terror hot spots have been intensified.
This comes weeks after Coast regional coordinator Nelson Marwa threatened to withdraw licenses of vehicles that ply the route without armed police escort.