Thursday July 6, 2017
by Joy Nabukewa and Chris Mgidu
LAMU, Kenya, July 5 (Xinhua) — At least two police officers were killed in Kenya’s coastal Lamu region by suspected Al-Shabaab militants who raided a police camp early Wednesday.
Acting Coast regional police commander Akello Odhiambo said the officers were killed when the militants raided and burnt the police camp at 5 a.m. local time.
Odhiambo said a number of militants were repulsed and killed in the fierce gun battle that lasted for hours. The militants had commandeered the officers’ vehicle and destroyed a communication mast.
Kenya Defence Force (KDF) soldiers were among the first security personnel who engaged the insurgents in aerial and ground attacks.
Unconfirmed reports indicate the militants made way with the police vehicle to Somalia through the vast Boni forest used by the militants to stage terrorist attacks.
“They razed down a police camp and destroyed Safaricom mast which disrupted communication among the security personnel but they managed to engage the suspects,” Odhiambo said.
The militants had planted improvised explosive device (IED) to slow down the operation. Several security officers including soldiers have since been deployed to combat the situation.
A police source claimed security agents were warned of a possible attack by Al-Shabaab last week within Kiunga after about 100 militants were spotted by locals.
Local official Elijah Kipteroi said that the gunmen attacked the Pandanguo police camp in Lamu West and started spraying bullets at the officers.
“We have sent the police and currently a battle is ongoing between the militia and our police. Most of the residents have sought refuge in the forest and they are safe,” said Kipteroi.
The Al-Shabaab have changed tactics and resorted to using IEDs to carry out attacks in parts of Coast region and North Eastern, according to police.
About 30 police officers and over 20 civilians have been were killed in terror attacks in the past one month in northeastern Kenya.
The latest attack comes after the police have announced that a single multi-agency command center has been established to respond to terrorist attacks and cases of violence during the elections period.
Source: Xinhua| Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
Date Published: 2017-07-05