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Friday, July 28, 2017

KDF rescues Public Works PS El-Maawy, five others abducted by al Shabaab in Lamu

Public Works PS Mariam El-Maawy during a past interview. /FILE
Public Works PS Mariam El-Maawy during a past interview. /FILE

Public Works PS Mariam El-Maawy was among six people abducted by al Shabaab militants in Lamu on Thursday.

The PS and her entourage were hijacked at Milihoi on Lamu-Mpeketoni highway after attending a Lapsset event.

She was rescued by KDF soldiers currently conducting patrols in the area and airlifted to Nairobi for treatment.

Three police officers were reportedly killed during the pursuit while several others in the PS's envoy were injured.

Coast regional police commander Larry Kieng confirmed police officers were among the casualties.

"We have some casualties but we are yet to confirm exact numbers," he said on telephone.

Sources told the Star that the PS was "slightly injured and in shock" by the time Kenya Defence Forces rescued them.

El-Maawy was in the area for a consultation meeting with stakeholders.

The vehicle was heading to Witu at the time they were ambushed by the militants.

Reports indicate that she was on her way to visit families who fled their homes due to insecurity in the region.

Witnesses said the vehicle was driven into the Boni forest by the about 30 militants at around 3pm.

Two other Probox vehicles that were held by the hostiles were released.

A lorry conductor was also taken hostage by the suspected militants in the same area. The driver was set free.

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