Lamu, KENYA: The Mokowe GSU camp was on Tuesday morning attacked by suspected Alshabaab militants.
Two groups of heavily armed people suspected to be Al-Shabaab militants invaded the Mokowe GSU camp in Lamu West at around 1 am Tuesday.
Police sources say two groups were spotted approaching the camp but were repulsed after they started firing at the camp.
“At around 1am we saw two groups of people approaching our camp. We asked them to identify themselves but they refused. That’s when we decided to fire at them. They also started firing back and that’s when we knew we were under attack. The fire exchange lasted for about 20 minutes before we overpowered them. They disappeared into the bushes,” said police officer who requested to remain anonymous since he is not authorized to speak to the press.
Another police officer said he received a text message from one of his bosses asking him to be alert since Mokowe GSU camp was under attack.
“I received a message from my boss telling me that we should be very alert since Mokowe GSU camp has been attacked. It was around 3am. I contacted one of my colleagues at Mokowe who told me that it was true. They were attacked by suspected Al-Shabaab militants but managed to repulse the attackers. There weren’t any casualties despite a fire exchange that ensued,” said the officer.
Locals who who spoke reported hearing heavy gunshots overnight.
“There were heavy gunshots at around 1am today. I was in my house but I could clearly hear what was going on from where I was. The gunshots lasted for over 30 minutes,” said Mohamed Omar of Mokowe.
The incident took place just hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed rallies in Kizingitini in Lamu East and Mpeketoni in Lamu West where he declared a major war against Al-Shabaab and ordered security to kill and bury Alshabaab on the spot.
The incident also comes just a week after more than five people including police officers were killed after a group of heavily armed suspsected Al-Shabaab militants hijacked a Toyota Prado carrying Public Works PS Mariam El Maawy and other five occupants at Milihoi in Lamu West.
El Maawy was shot and injured during the attack that also left her nephew a trainee pilot Arif Kassim Athman who had accompanied the PS dead. They were heading to Witu to visit displaced persons living in camps on July 13.
Mokowe is roughly about 40 kilometres from Milihoi.
Efforts to reach Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri for confirmation were however futile since his phone went unanswered.