Security agencies intensify hunt for Shabaab in Lamu

Friday November 3 2017

Pandanguo Village in Lamu

KDF soldiers at Pandanguo Village in Lamu. Security agencies conducting the multi-agency security operation in Lamu’s Boni Forest have intensified the search for more Al-Shabaab militants. PHOTO | ATHMAN OMAR | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KALUME KAZUNGU
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Security agencies conducting the multi-agency security operation in Lamu’s Boni Forest have intensified the search for more Al-Shabaab militants in Nyatha, Witu Division and all areas bordering the forest a day after two terrorists were killed by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops on Thursday evening.

KDF Spokesman Col David Obonyo told Nation Friday morning that the area is under tight security surveillance and that they have already launched a manhunt for more Al-Shabaab after several of the terrorist managed to escape during the 6pm battle with KDF at Nyatha in Witu.

Col Obonyo said enough security officers are on the ground conducting the manhunt for more militants and urged locals in the entire Lamu County to be on the lookout and report to the security agencies if they spot any suspicious individual in their areas.

TWO SHABAAB KILLED

“The number of terrorists killed by KDF on Thursday evening is still two.

“[The] operation is ongoing and we will let you know if there will be any new developments. So far the area is calm.

“My appeal to members of the public is to report to the security agencies whenever they spot any suspicious person in their areas for prompt action,” said Col Obonyo.

On his side, Boni Enclave Campaign Director Joseph Kanyiri said the operation in Boni Forest and all areas bordering the forest will continue until all criminals are eliminated.

Mr Kanyiri said security agencies have so far dominated all areas where the security operation is being conducted in Lamu and even the neighbouring counties of Tana River and Garissa.

PATIENCE

He called on residents to be patient and assured them of maximum protection.

“We are alert. We haven’t called off the operation. It’s ongoing. To say anything may be pre-emptive as per now,” said Mr Kanyiri.

Meanwhile, residents of Maisha Masha, Jipendeni, Majembeni, Jima and Poromoko villages spent a sleepless night following the constant blasts of gunshots and explosions believed to be between the KDF and Al-Shabaab.

Mr Charo Mitsanze, a resident said they couldn’t sleep last night due to the intense noise from the explosions and gunshots.

“Most of us couldn’t sleep. Planes have been roaming the skies all night .It’s not something we are used to. We could also hear gunshots coming from the buffer zone and Mambo Sasa Forest. We were worried the whole night,” said Mr Mitsanze.

This comes just a week after KDF soldiers killed four Al-Shabaab militants in Mararani on October 23 and recovered four AK-47 rifles, six magazines, three grenades, three car batteries, rolls of cables, three mobile phones and assorted food stuffs following a successful raid on their camp.

On October 9, KDF soldiers killed another five Al-Shabaab militants in Bodhei on the Lamu-Garissa border and recovered six AK-47 assault rifles, 321 bullets, three grenades and explosives.