Scores flee Lamu villages over recent killings

Villagers of Jima village flee their village after suspected Alshabaab terorists raided the village . FILE/PHOTO.

Lamu, KENYA: Scores of villagers of Silini and Bobo in Hindi division Lamu west where four men were killed days ago have fled their homes for fear of being attacked and killed.

One of the men was killed as he cut wood at a forest in Silini village on Tuesday evening, while the three other men were murdered in their homes at Bobo village early Wednesday morning.

Many homes seen by BarakaFM have been abandoned in the villages and other neighboring areas as residents fled for their lives.

Many have also been spending nights in bushes and forests since the killings took place and only come back to their homes in the mornings.

Villagers have also turned the Bobo primary school into their bedroom where they spend nights before coming back to their homes at dawn.

Others prefer trekking tens for kilometers from Silini and Bobo villages to Hindi town where they spend nights with relatives and in lodgings before trekking back home at dawn.

Businesses have also been interrupted as many shops and other ventures in the affected villages and Hindi town remain closed after their owners fled.

Residents want police patrols intensified both in the villages and in Hindi town.

“People have fled from here and gone to other counties.Others are still around but sleep in the forest and come back in the morning.Others sleep in lodgings.No one feels safe to sleep in their homes at all.Even in the forests we are still risking because that’s the same place these killers hide in.We don’t know what to do,”said Cyprian Mwengi.

Residents held demos on Wednesday and Thursday to protest against increased insecurity and also demanded that acting CS Fred Matiag’I comes to Lamu to explain why security keeps deteriorating.

Lamu county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo however warned against continued demos, saying such will now be taken as criminal acts and that people will be arrested and charged for causing public unrest.

He assured that security had been intensified in the affected areas and the entire county and said residents had no reason to worry.

He said there were 24 hour police surveillance and patrols on all roads,forests and in the air in order to ensure safety of locals and their property.