-- Kenyan security forces foiled an attempted attack
on their camp in the coastal region of Lamu by Al-Shabaab early
Tuesday, hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered an all-out
war against terrorists in the restive region.
A senior police officer in Lamu
confirmed the attempted attack, saying about 30 armed terrorists
were on a mission to attack Mokowe GSU camp but sneaked out
after noticing the presence of security officers.
“The militants who were heavily armed
approached the police camp in two groups at around 1 a.m.
but we overpowered them and (they) fled into the Boni
forest,” the police officer who did not want to be
identified said by telephone.
Witnesses said the insurgents
retreated to the vast Boni forest which they have been using as
their hideout to launch attacks on the Lamu villagers.
Police operating in the area said they
were on alert and there are fears of more attacks in the area
from the gang.
“They were sighted near the camp with
an intention to attack but retreated to the forest. There
was no casualty,” said an official in the area. Mokowe is
about 35 kilometres from Milihoi where five people were
killed last week.
About 20 people have been killed in
the area for the last two weeks. The latest incident happened
last week when the militants killed a bodyguard to Public Works
Principal Secretary Mariam El Maawy, her nephew, driver and two
other people in Milihoi area.
The militants had killed 13 people in
Jima and Pandaguo areas a week earlier. On Monday, President
Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the terrorists who have been terrorizing
the Lamu residents be killed and buried.
Kenyatta pledged to meet
fire-with-fire in the war against terrorists. “Our citizens are
losing their lives. Our security forces are losing their lives.
My Principal Secretary was wounded here a few days ago,” said
Kenyatta, who is on a political campaign tour of the Lamu
“We have to deal with these terror
mongers. I have no apologies to make in taking the tough
measures we are taking,” he added, while promising to
continue with the government’s heavy investment in
infrastructure to spur prosperity.
“We shall finish them. When we get
them, we will not jail but bury them,” he said of the
terrorists who have turned Boni Forest into a playground,
attacking and killing locals before retreating there.
The Kenyan leader also told those
living in areas prone to Al-Shabaab attacks to vacate and give
way for ongoing operation there. He also asked locals in Lamu
County to cooperate with security officers and give information
that will help get the attackers.
The attacks have affected tourism,
local economy and movement. A number of schools have also closed
down because of the incidents. Given elections are scheduled for
next month, it is still unclear if the locals will be able to
Electoral body has urged police to
ensure there is voting on Aug. 8. A curfew has been imposed in
the area as part of efforts to tame the attacks.
The police said more border patrol
will be intensified along the Kenya-Somalia border in Kiunga and
Dadaad refugee camps to prevent the Al-Qaida-linked insurgents
who are fleeing Kismayo to from entering into the country
Kenya’s tourism has suffered a decline
in the number of tourists arriving since September 2011 when the
Somali militant group, the Al-Shabaab, carried out the
kidnappings of tourists in the Lamu archipelago and the
kidnapping of the Spanish volunteers.
The port city, the capital Nairobi and
other parts of Kenya have suffered a series of grenade attacks
since the military incursion into southern Somalia.