Lamu, KENYA: Suspected Al shabaab militants attacked the Pandanguo Kenya Police post and destroyed a communication mast in Lamu West early Wednesday morning.
Residents confirmed hearing gunshots coming from within the police post compound at around 5.30 a.m forcing many of them to flee for their lives.
A police source also confirmed that suspected Alshabaab militants had attacked the police post early Wednesday morning and security officers had been dispatched to the area to ward off militants; who are said to have engaged police in a fierce gun battle since then.
Linda Boni Security Operation Director James Seriani, said enough security officers had been deployed to Pandanguo village to hunt down the suspected Al-Shabaab militants.
Seriani also confirmed that a sizable number of unknown assailants suspected to be Al-Shabaab militants attacked the police station at around 5.30am.
“A sizable number of unknown people attacked Pandanguo Police station and an exchange of fire ensued. We have sent enough reinforcement on the ground to deal with the culprits.” said Seriani.
He said the suspected militants tried to torch the police station but met fierce fire from the security officers conducting the Linda Boni operation who were manning the area.
Seriani however dismissed reports that some villagers at Pandanguo had been taken hostage by the terrorists and said that those reported missing are those who fled the area shortly after the attack began.
He said no casualties had been reported yet but promised to give details on the same later.
“ I received reports that villagers fled away and hid in the thick bushes but we expect them to come back once the matter is calmed down. We are alert and we are calling for vigilance. I will give more information once we are over with the crackdown which is ongoing at the moment,” added Seriani.
The militants are also said to have destroyed and brought down a communication mast in Pandanguo making communication between various police units difficult.
They are also said to have destroyed a school and property of an unknown value.
The number of casualties and those injured are still unknown as the police continue to engage the militants.
A senior administrator who declined to be mentioned, said the fire exchange was still ongoing by the time this story was going to press.
“We have enough officers on the ground fighting off the attackers whom we heavily believe are Alshabaab militants.The exchange of fire started since 5.45am till now.We suspect there are casualties but cant ascertain yet until the fire dies down.The area is now a no-go zone to allow officers work,”said the administrator.
Addressing the press on Wednesday in Nairobi, Inspector General of police Joseph Boinet confirmed the attack but declined to reveal whether any casualties have been reported.
“Yes it is true that there has been an attack in Pandanguo in Lamu county that I am very sure, but give me time to investigate the matter first” said Boinet.
The attack comes barely two weeks after yet another land mine attack on an RBPU lorry that left
8 among them four children and four police officers dead at Kiunga.
An earlier IED attack on an Armored Personnel Carrier-APC a month ago killed ten including nine police officers and a civilian.
Two weeks ago,Security agents were warned of possible Al-Shabaab attacks within Kiunga area, Milihoi, after about 100 armed suspected Alshabaab militants were spotted by locals.
This isn’t the first Alshabaab raid on Pandanguo village.
On July 14, 2014, over 60 Al-Shabaab militants attacked Pandanguo village, torched a classroom and stole drugs at the Pandanguo dispensary.