At least 10 injured in Lamu IED attack

A lorry that ran over an IED device during a past attack in Lamu. 5 soilders have been killed in an IED attack in Lamu PHOTO/FILE

Lamu, KENYA: At least 10 police officers are in critical condition after their vehicles ran over an Improvised Explosive Device-IED suspected to have been planted in their way by Alshabab militants at a location between Handaro and Sangailu areas in Lamu county.

The area of the attack is also extremely close to the Lamu-Garissa border.

Police sources confirmed that the vehicle, a land cruiser had aboard more than 10 police officers drawn from the Ijara Administration Police station-APS.

The officers were escorting a bulldozer from their camp to the Sangailu AP camp in Holugho division at around 3 am on Thursday when they came under attack.

Police sources have not been able to establish the exact number of injured officers but reports indicate that the driver of the ill-fated land cruiser, an officer himself, is in critical condition.

All the injured officers have been moved to a facility at Ijara, Garissa in Eastern Kenya where they have received first aid before they are moved to the Masalani sub-county hospital in the same region for further medical care.

Reports indicate that those in critical condition will be flown for specialized treatment in Nairobi.

“Today at around 3 am a report was received at Masalani that a land cruiser belonging to APS Ijara was attached by suspected Al-Shabaab between Handaro and Sangailu while escorting an APS Bulldozer to Samgailu AP camp in Hulugho Division. The APS land cruiser stepped on the IED. A number of officers injured not known. The driver believed to be in critical condition. All casualties moved to Ijara for first aid en route to Masalani sub-county hospital,” said the police source.

The area of attack is among those under the Linda Boni Security operation being undertaken by among other units, the KDF with intent to flush out Alshabaab terrorists believed to be hiding in the infamous Boni forest from where they launch attacks in Lamu and the rest of the country.

The operation was launched in 2015 by the national government.

Efforts to reach the Kenya Defense Forces spokesperson David Obonyo and coast region police commander Noah Mwivanda were futile as their phones had been switched off.

This attack comes just days after a group of honey harvesters stumbled upon a group of over 200 militants as they went about their business inside the Boni forest at Belasange area, which is also under the security operation.

Fearful locals had indicated that the sighting of the militants was proof enough that terror attacks were in the offing and called on the government to take measures to combat any terror plans.