A police officer injured during a dawn terror attack by a group of people suspected to be Al-Shaabab at the Mangai Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) camp in Lamu East has been evacuated to Nairobi for specialized treatment.
More than 20 heavily armed Al-Shabaab militants forced their way into the camp at around 2am on Thursday but they were repulsed by RDU officers.
During the attack, an Al-Shabaab terrorist was killed and a number of them ran away with multiple bullet wounds.
An AK-47 rifle and three magazines full of ammunition were seized from the terrorists as they fled into the dense Boni forest after being overpowered by police.
Lamu County Coordinating Police Commander Mr Abdullahi Adan confirme that a Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldier’s chopper was sent to the place to take the officer to an undisclosed hospital in Nairobi.
Mr Adan however refused to give details concerning the officer’s condition but insisted that he was fine.
“The officer suffered bullet wound on the left arm but he is fine. In fact he has already been evacuated from the scene by a KDF chopper and is receiving medical treatment in one of our hospitals,” said Mr Adan.
He said various security units including the KDF, RDU, GSU and others were currently taking defense in Mangai area and its environs in order to hunt down the militants who conducted the attack.
Mr Adan also said they were expecting more reinforcements from Nairobi.
But the entire Basuba region which is made up of Mangai, Milimani, Baure, Mararani and Kiangwe areas remains a bone of contention in as far as matters of security and terrorism in Lamu County are concerned.
The region houses the infamous Boni forest which has acted as the militia’s hideouts every time they launch their attacks.
With every single terror attack, it has been noted that the Al-Shabaab militia who have been terrorizing the region for some time, have always come out to commit their attacks and vanish into the forest.
In the past two years, shortly after Mpeketoni, Kibaoni, Witu and Hindi Al-Shabaab attacks that left over 100 people dead and property worth millions destroyed in 2014 and 2015, the militia has been conducting attempts and attacks on various parts of Basuba.
Many feel that Basuba is being targeted more than any other part of Lamu due to the poor road and mobile phone networks and the proximity of Basuba Ward which is located closer to the Kenya-Somali Boarder and which makes it easy for the militants to cross in and out of Lamu as they wish.
The number of Al-Shabaab attempts to the area in 2015 to date is over 30 times.
On June 14, 2015, over 60 Al-shabaab militants raided the Mangai village at around 3 am and torched over 100 matresses at the Mangai Boarding Primary school, an administration block and a motorbike belonging to the Mangai Dispensary.
They then proceeded to the Baure military camp where they attacked and killed two soldiers.
More than 11 Al-Shabaab terrorists were however killed in the incident.
On July 13, 2015, four women and a baby were killed when Al-Shabaab attacked a police vehicle at Omollo Bridge, just 10 kilometeres from the Bar’goni military camp.
On August 15, 2015, a group of over 100 heavily armed Al-Shabaab militants raided Basuba village at around 6am and lectured to the residents for over one hour before disappearing into the Boni forest.
The move prompted the national government to launch a multi—agency operation Linda Boni on September 11, 2015 with major aim being to flush out Al-Shabaab militants believed to be hiding inside the expansive Boni forest.
Since then, the region was declared a security operational zone and that anyone intending to go the the areas requires to get permission from the county commissioner plus security officers to accompany him.
Despite the launch of the Operation Linda Boni nine months ago and security officials coming out to confirm the success of the operation, it is surprising that Al-Shabaab militants have been making their appearances on several occasions in various places of Basuba especially in Mangai.
Since the commencement of the Holy month of Ramadhan in mid June this year, Al-Shabaab has been making terror attacks and attempts in Mangai and Milimani.
On June 29 this year, four Al-Shabaab militants were killed while one soldier was injured in a 9am confrontation during which KDF seized four AK-47 riffles, a rocket propelled grenade, IED and two hand grenade at Milimani area.
Prior to the killings, the militia had attempted to attack the Mangai RDU camp at around 8am but police returned fierce fire and overpowered the militants who fled into the Boni forest.
On July 4 this year, at least 20 KDF soldiers escaped death after a lorry they had boarded narrowly missed running over an Improvised Explosive Devise(IED) that had been planted on their wayby suspected Al-Shabaab militants. The soldiers were from the Baure military camp and were heading to
Hindi when the incident happened at Milimani.
On July 10 this year, 14 GSU officers escaped death by a whisker when a home-made bomb suspected to have been planted by Al-Shabaab militants blew up near their armoured personnel carrier at Baure in Lamu East.
The explosive device had been planted on the road by the militants just three kilometers from the Baure military camp.
The officers were heading to Hindi from Kiunga when they were attacked but no one was injured.
Later in the day, more than 30 Al-Shabaab militants attempted to attack the Mangai RDU camp at around 4.30pm.
They are said to fire two propelled grenades and also shoot randomly but were repulsed by police who returned fierce fire.
The Thursday dawn incident is the third time Al-Shabaab has attempted to attack the camp, with police intelligence indicating the terrorists want to steal arms.
“We know they have their eyes on the Armoured Police Carrier and also what they want is access to the armoury but we can never allow them to get close to those,” said the police source.
(Story by The Coast Correspondent in Lamu)