The operation to hunt down suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists who killed a woman and injured five police officers at Nyongoro along the Lamu-Mombasa road on Saturday morning has been intensified.
Linda Boni Operation Director Joseph Kanyiri says they will not relent until all the criminals are arrested or killed.
Speaking to Nation early Sunday morning, Mr Kanyiri said enough security officers have already been deployed at Nyongoro and its environs.
Mr Kanyiri said the search is also concentrated in areas near Boni Forest where the militants are believed to be hiding.
Nyongoro has become an area of concern due to the numerous Al-Shabaab attacks and subsequent killings conducted by the Somalia-based Al-Qaeda-linked group.
In mid-June 2017, three Al-Shabaab hideouts were discovered and destroyed in Nyongoro with an undisclosed number of the terrorists killed.
However, the number of terrorist attacks that are being witnessed in the same area continue to increase with members of the public and even the security agencies themselves raising concerns over the same.
But Mr Kanyiri said security forces have already identified notorious hotspots that are normally easily attacked by Al-Shabaab and that adequate security barricades have been set up in such areas.
Areas that have become known Al-Shabaab attack spots on the Lamu-Garsen road include Nyongoro, Gamba, Mambo Sasa Corner, Lango la Simba and Milihoi.
Mr Kanyiri asked members of the public to cooperate with security officers to ensure the security of travellers on the road is guaranteed.
“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 [provide] more military vehicles in order to boost the war on terror in this region. We will not tire 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 Mr Kanyiri.
Meanwhile, Lamu leaders have sent their condolences to families and friends of those who lost their lives during the Saturday Al-Shabaab attack at Nyongoro in Lamu West.
Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama and Lamu Senator Anwar Loitiptip also condemned the 10.30am terrorist attack and called on the government to come up with strategies which will ensure maximum protection of citizens in the region.
INTENSIFY WAR ON SHABAAB
In his statement, Mr Muthama thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto for their commitment in ensuring the war on Al-Shabaab in Lamu County and the neighbouring northern Kenya counties is intensified and security restored.
“It pains me when we look so helpless in the hands of terrorists. Our officers and citizens have suffered on our roads. I call on the people of Lamu West to be calm and cooperate with the security agencies in ensuring the war on Al-Shabaab succeeds. I [have confidence in] the government. It has been working tirelessly to solve the problem of insecurity conclusively,” said Mr Muthama.
Mr Loitiptip on his side said they are working with other leaders in the region in pushing for reforms in Lamu County’s security.
“I encourage people to always share information with our security agencies. As county leaders, we will continue supporting the government in ensuring Lamu and the nation at large is secured,” said Mr Loitiptip.
During the Saturday attack in Nyongoro, two police vehicles were set ablaze by the heavily armed terrorists who later fled into the nearby forest.