A KDF soldier who died shortly after being airlifted to Nairobi for treatment will be buried in Kiunga, Lamu County, on Friday. Senior Private Ali Athman Shee Shalima was among those in the vehicle that ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) at Kwa Omollo Bridge on the Bodhei-Bar’goni road on Wednesday. He was attached to the Bar’goni Military Camp Special Unit and had been in the army since 2009. He is survived by a wife and two children.
The family gathered in Lamu town on Thursday to begin their boat journey to Kiunga, where he will be buried Friday.
“The body has already left the Memorial Forces Hospital in Nairobi and will be flown straight to Kiunga for burial today. That’s why we are going there to make preparations for the burial this morning,” his aunt, Ms Mariam Shee Bakari, told the Nation.
Ms Bakari, who sponsored Shalima's secondary education, described him as humble, calm and disciplined, adding that his death was a big blow to the family.
“His father and mother are old. His father was a fisherman but can no longer work due to his age. Ali, the second-born in a family four children, was the family's sole breadwinner,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ali's cousin Answar Salim described him as a friendly person.
“We grew up together. He was hard-working. He was also a man of few words but very focused. Ali assumed the role of first born after his older brother died. His family was completely dependent on him. He was depended fully by the family. May his soul rest in peace,” said Mr Answar, a police officer at the Lamu Police Station.
Shalima's brother, Mr Famau Athman, was overcome by emotions.
Meanwhile, the search for the suspected Al-Shabaab militants has intensified.
Speaking to the on phone on Wednesday evening, Kenya Defence Forces spokesperson Paul Njuguna there were enough security officers were on the ground pursuing the attackers.
Earlier, Mr Njuguna had said that no soldier died the IED explosion, but that six had been injured, two of them critically.
“I am surprised at the information I am seeing on social media insinuating that some officers have died when that is not the case. It was just an IED and not an attack as such. During the incident, six of our officers were injured, two critically. We have already airlifted them to Nairobi for treatment. We have also intensified crackdown for the attackers on the ground. The situation has been managed,” said Col Njuguna.