In Summary
  • The terrorists, who initially only operated from villages near the forest, seem to have expanded into new territory, making the Malindi-Lamu road almost a no-go zone.

  • On July 5, two officers were killed while seven others went missing after terrorists raided a police station in Pandanguo.

Al-Shabaab fighters who have set up camp in Boni Forest, Lamu,  remained a thorn in the flesh of Kenya in 2017 despite spirited efforts to flush them out.

The terrorists, who initially only operated from villages near the forest, seem to have expanded into new territory, making the Malindi-Lamu road almost a no-go zone.

The militants outwitted soldiers and police officers involved in “Linda Boni” operation by launching attacks that claimed the lives of many people.

One attack on July 13 led to the death of Public Works Principal Secretary Maryam el Maawy, the highest ranked government official to die in the attacks.

The PS had attended a meeting on the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor project at Huduma Centre in Lamu town before heading to Witu.

The fighters ambushed the car in which Maawy and six other occupants were travelling on the Mpeketoni-Lamu road.

SET CAR ABLAZE

However, they fled when a military helicopter hovered above,  but not before setting the car ablaze. Soldiers took the injured PS to hospital.

Maawy’s 21-year-old nephew and trainee pilot Arif Kassim, her driver Godana Borani, police officer Ayub ole Ndoloni and a civilian died in the attack.

In August, three Tana River County officials were killed in another brazen attack, also orchestrated by al-Shabaab. 

They were public works chief officer Sammy Mwakisha Tola, quantity surveyor Chrispine Dulu and an employee who was not immediately identified.

According to the Nation, at least 30 security officers, among them Kenya Defence Forces soldiers, were killed in attacks linked to al-Shabaab terrorists between May and November.

CIVILIANS DIED

“The number of colleagues who have died could be more as we engage these people almost daily,” said a security source who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

On May 31, nine security officers and a civilian died when their vehicles hit explosives in separate incidents.

The first explosion in Baure and Milimani areas killed a civilian and all seven policemen in an armoured personnel carrier.

On June 27, eight people — four policemen and four pupils — died when a Rapid Border Patrol Unit vehicle hit a land mine in Ota area on the Mararani-Kiunga road in Lamu East sub-county.

On July 5, two officers were killed while seven others went missing after terrorists raided a police station in Pandanguo.

Three days later, nine people were killed when the militants raided Jima village in Lamu West.

On August 3, three people were killed in a Shabaab attack on a bus in Witu.

OPENED FIRE

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