Search for al shabaab militants in Lamu intensified

One of the vehicles that was burnt during the attack on a security convoy where a woman was killed and five officers in a past al- shabbab attack. PHOTO COURTESY

Lamu, KENYA: Security officers in Lamu have intensified the search for Alshabaab militants who fled into the Boni forest shortly after they ambushed a security convoy and killed a woman and injured five officers on Saturday.

The incident took place on the Lamu-Mombasa route.

Speaking in Lamu on Sunday,Linda Boni operation director Joseph Kanyiri said the officers will not relent until the terrorists from the Somalia-based Al-Qaeda linked group are captured and eliminated.

Kanyiri said adequate troops and officers had been deployed to Nyongoro and surrounding areas to comb the area for any injured or dead Alshabaab.

He said the search is also being concentrated in areas towards and around the Boni forest where the militants are believed to have fled to shortly after the incident.

Nyongoro has become an area of concern for security officers following the numerous terror attacks and ambushes that happen in the area making it a double hotspot.

In mid-June last year, three Al-Shabaab hideouts were discovered and destroyed at Nyongoro area.

An undisclosed number of Alshabaab militants were also killed within the same area.

The number of terror attacks and ambushes in Nyongoro, however, continue to grow by the day with residents and leaders raising eyebrows over the situation.

In defense, however, Kanyiri said Nyongoro and all other areas considered hotspots for terrorists in the county had already been identified and marked and that enough security barricades had been set up in such areas.

He said reinforcements in various departments were also being made to ensure hotspots are well managed and the enemy eliminated.

Apart from Nyongoro, other renowned terror hotspots along the Lamu-Garsen route include Gamba, Mambo Sasa corner, Lango la Simba and Milihoi areas.

It should be noted that all these areas have two things in common;poor road and communication networks that have made them easy targets by militants who know that vehicles cant move faster due to the state of the roads and that people cant make calls to even alert police whenever they are attacked since there’s no phone network in the areas.

The Linda Boni operation director has however appealed to members of the public to cooperate with security agencies and give out any crucial information that will go a long way in guaranteeing the security of travelers on the route.

He said his office had also requested the national government to avail more military vehicles to boost the war on terror in the region.

“We have deployed enough security officers in Gamba, Nyongoro and the surrounding areas to pursue the attackers. Our men out there will continue with the hunt for the militants while intensive investigations concerning the attack are also underway. In the meantime, we have requested the government to avail more military vehicles in order to boost the war on terror in this region. We will not tire up on this. It’s an onerous task that calls for sacrifice. Citizens must be calm and cooperate with the security agencies on the ground,” said Kanyiri.