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July 17, 2018

Police intensify search for al Shabaab who attacked Lamu buses

The AP vehicle that was torched by suspected al Shabaab militants during an attack in Lamu county, January 13, 2018, /Cheti Praxides
The AP vehicle that was torched by suspected al Shabaab militants during an attack in Lamu county, January 13, 2018, /Cheti Praxides

Lamu security officers have intensified the search for al Shabaab militants who fled into Boni Forest shortly after ambushing buses on Saturday.

A woman was killed and five police officers injured in the incident on the Lamu-Mombasa route.

More on this: One killed, cops injured after suspected al Shabaab attack Lamu buses

Speaking in Lamu on Sunday, Boni Enclave Campaign director said they will not relent until the al Qaeda-linked terrorists are captured and eliminated.

Kanyiri said enough troops and officers were deployed to Nyongoro and surrounding areas to search for injured or dead militants. He said they were concentrating on areas near the forest as the militants likely went there.

Al Shabaab have carried out several attacks in Nyongoro. In mid-June last year, three of their hide outs in the area were discovered and destroyed. An undisclosed number of terrorists were also killed at the location but the number of attacks continues to rise.

Leaders and residents have raised eyebrows but Kanyiri said hot spots were identified and enough security barricades set up.

"Reinforcements in various departments were also made to ensure hot spots are well-managed and the enemy eliminated."

Many attacks have also taken place along the Lamu-Garsen route in areas including Gamba, Mambo Sasa corner, Lango la Simba and Milihoi. These areas have poor road and communication networks, so escape and communication after attacks is difficult.

The director appealed for cooperation between members of the public and security agencies so crucial information is handed over for the sake of investigations.

"This will go a long way in guaranteeing the security of travellers on the route," he said, adding his office requested the government for more military vehicles to boost the war on terror in the region.

 “We have deployed enough security officers to Gamba, Nyongoro and surrounding areas to pursue the attackers. Our men will continue with the hunt for the militants while intensive investigations are conducted," he said.

"In the meantime, we have requested the government for more military vehicles. We will not tire. It’s an onerous task that calls for sacrifice. Citizens must be calm and cooperate with the security agencies on the ground."

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