Lamu security officials blame sellouts for fatal attack on KDF

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Lamu, KENYA: Security officials in Lamu county have blamed resident sellouts for the deadly attack on a KDF convoy that claimed the lives of 6 KDF soldiers.

Speaking in Lamu on Wednesday,Linda Boni Operation Director Joseph Kanyiri said locals in the said areas had been tipping Al Shabaab militants of movements of security officers in their areas.

Kanyiri blamed the recent IED attack on a KDF vehicle at Kwa Omollo Bridge along the Bodhei-Bargoni road on local community networks with the Al Shabaab.

“We heavily feel our every movement as security agencies here are reported to the militants by their loyalists and sympathizers.Even the recent KDF attack was purely after locals sold off their movements,” he said.

Six KDF soldiers perished in the attack while five others sustained major injuries.

Kanyiri said most of the time, locals are extremely uncooperative and give the security units a hard time to conduct the operation since they refuse to give out any information of even point of the terrorists to them.

He rebuked the ‘see no evil report no evil’ culture which is embedded among the mentioned communities saying the habit was costly.

Kanyiri said others are suspected to be harboring the militants whenever security officers set up searches and manhunts.

He said the recent Al Shabaab attacks in the region were majorly due to the intelligence that some of the locals leaked to the militants.

He says the reason is the major cause of the extension of the Linda Boni security operation which was initially expected to have ended a few years back.

“We are aware some locals in the said counties have been hiding the militants whenever our officers come knocking.Some have been giving out information which has resulted in the recent few attacks.We have sealed all loopholes as security officers and therefore the only way the militants can lay their hands on intelligence is through locals in the areas,”said Kanyiri.

The Linda Boni security operation was launched in 2015 by the national government which the sole objective of flushing out Al Shabaab militants said to be hiding inside the Boni forest.

Though the number of attacks have subsequently been reduced,its worth noting that sporadic attacks still take place from time to time in notorious hotspots bringing to question the impact of the operation,if any and the strides made so far with the operation bosses insisting that things are working.

“Most of the time, the enemy just hibernates amongst them. This applies to enemy spies, reconnaissance parties, sympathizers, financiers or the resupply networks. We are confident that some of these communities have spontaneous enemy sightings and are even aware when and where some of these IEDs are planted but they choose not to say anything and let people die,”said Kanyiri.

He said his office was also looking seriously into intel that some home bred returnees are on devious terror missions in the country.

“We are looking into the fact some of those posing as returnees are actually on a mission to reign terror.The manner of operation of the militants nowadays in clear enough for us to know that locals are heavily involved and we are on their trails. Someone cant come from Somalia and know their way around villages here on their own, someone is definitely helping them,”he added.

He asked locals to cooperate with security agencies and promised that any information shared will be treated with utmost confidentiality and that no informant will be victimized.

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