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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya shuffles head of operation to flush out Al-Shabaab in Lamu   

LAMU (Xinhua) -- Kenyan authorities on Wednesday appointed a new head of security operation aimed at flushing out Al-Shabaab militia from Boni Forest in the coastal Lamu County.

James Ole Serian was moved to Nairobi for redeployment while Lamu County Commissioner James Kanyiri was ordered to take over the operation immediately. It is not clear what prompted the changes.

The operation was launched in 2015 to stop Al-Shabaab attacks that had been on the rise killing locals.

Thousands of people had been uprooted from their homes while businesses, public transport and farming ground to a halt. The deadliest attack happened in Mpeketoni and Pandaguo in 2014 where more than 90 people were killed.

The operation is being carried out by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), the National Police Service, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and other State security agencies.

On Monday night, gunshots were heard in the area when the militants attempted to attack a police camp hours after President Kenyatta had ordered their killing.

The about 30 militants were seen loitering near Mukowe General Service Unit camp Monday night with plans to attack them prompting a sentry officer to open fire.

Serian said the militants retreated into Boni Forest after they realized the paramilitary police personnel there had been alerted and were waiting for a fight. Up to 18 people have been killed in the area for the last two weeks.

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