LAMU (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s security officers on Friday recovered
three bodies, bringing to five the number of those killed in an
operation to rescue six nationals abducted by Al-Shabaab in
coastal Lamu region on Thursday.
Kenya Defence Forces
(KDF) spokesman Colonel Joseph Owuoth said troops joined
security agents to pursue the militants holed-up at the vast
Boni forest which they said is their hideout.
“The joint operation
has been intensified in the Boni forest,” said Owuoth, noting
that the troops were behind the rescue mission of the Miriam El
Maawy, the principal secretary in the Ministry of Lands and
Physical Planning on Thursday.
The joint security
team rescued El-Maawy, some 40 minutes after she and five others
had been kidnapped by gunmen at Milihoi on Lamu-Mpeketoni
highway, Lamu County.
El Maawy was rescued
with bullet injuries in the back, hand and legs together with
some of the victims who had been taken hostage by gunmen
believed to be Al-Shabaab.
She had a bullet
lodged in her left shoulder.
The attacks happened
some about 40 kilometers from Mpeketoni town where coast
regional coordinator Nelson Marwa was holding a security meeting
and declared that recent attacks were politically instigated.
The attack took
place at Milihoi area on the Lamu-Mpeketeni highway. About 30
militants were involved in the dramatic incident.
The PS’s driver was
among at least four people including police officers who were
killed in the operation. He was shot dead and the car he had
The PS’s nephew who
was among those in the car has been identified as 21-year-old
trainee pilot Arif Kassim.
A third person in
the car believed to be a driver or bodyguard also died during
the incident that occurred on the Mpeketoni-Lamu Road.
official who sought anonymity noted Kassim was reported missing
shortly after the ambush.
two more bodies believed to be of police officers have also been
found. They are said to be of KDF officers killed while rescuing
Maawy,” senior security officer said.