Two missing pupils in Lamu land mine attack found

Recross officials attending to one of the pupils who survived the attack. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: Two of the four primary school children who had gone missing after Tuesday’s land mine attack in Kiunga,Lamu East have been found alive.

The pupils were among a group of 14 pupils who sought a lift from a Rapid Border Patrol Unit-RBPU lorry from Mararani to Kiunga primary school, before the lorry which also had aboard over 20 police officers ran over a land mine at Ota area believed to have been planted by Alshabaab militants killing eight,four police officers and four pupils.

More than five pupils had been reported missing after the incident.

READ MORE: 4 police officers among 8 killed in Lamu IED attack

Following an intensive search operation by security officers mounted shortly after the attack on Tuesday,two pupils were found.

However, confirming the recovery of the two,Lamu East sub county administrator Shee Kupi said one was found late Tuesday evening and had serious injuries to the skull and burns on the face.

The other student was discovered in a thicket close to the scene of the attack on Wednesday morning and had all legs broken.

He said the two who he described as being in very critical and delicate condition had already been airlifted to the Magogoni Naval Base in Lamu and that plans to have them airlifted to Nairobi for specialized treatment was underway.

Parents have however remained optimistic that with the ongoing search,they will be found alive and well.

“We have found two of the missing pupils who all have suffered serious injuries.They have been taken to the Magogoni naval base from where they will be airlifted to Nairobi for treatment.We still have two missing and remain unaccounted for,” said Kupi.

Meanwhile, burial arrangements for the four pupils who died in the attack are underway at Mararani village in Lamu east.

Lamu governor Issa Timamy and his deputy Eric Mugo have condemned the attack and called on the government to do more to secure volatile areas in the county.

While sending his condolences,Timamy said terrorism was a global issue that required efforts from all and sundry to be won.

“Its so cruel when innocent children die from such acts of terrorism.We have lost our officers yet again just less than a month after the attack in Baure that claimed the lives of 10.Its so unfortunate.My prayers are with the bereaved and injured,”said Timamy.

A security operations consisting of various security units has been launched to pursue the militants who fled into the Boni forest after the attack.

Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri and the Linda Boni Operation Director James Ole Serian however remained silent and refused to comment on the matter, since their phones went unanswered and text messages were never replied to.