Lamu police on high alert after al Shabaab rumours


Inspector general of police Joseph Boinnet with other senior security personnel during an inspection tour of Boni forest, Lamu county. Photo/ALPHONCE GARI

Police in Lamu are on high alert following reports that heavily armed al Shabaab militia were spotted in the county.

Lamu county AP commander Abdullahi Adan said police had been tipped by the public that suspected terrorists were sighted in Milimani area, Lamu East on Friday morning.

Adan said following the reports, KDF soldiers who were dispatched to the area immediately to assess the situation found nothing.

He said police and military personnel have mounted patrols in the area as a result.

“We received reports that suspected al-Shabaab militants had been spotted in a bush near Milimani at around 9.30 am. That is when a KDF chopper was immediately sent to the place but after a thorough search, no one was found. Security officers in the area are however on high alert and ready to respond to any attempt that might occur,” said Adan.

The police boss assured residents that security personnel were in control of the situation, hence no need to panic.

Locals reported having heard gunshots that lasted for more than half an hour on Sunday morning in the area.

“Officers are manning the place. In fact we have a General Service Unit (GSU) camp at Milimani and we have intensified security patrols everywhere. The place is well monitored. KDF soldiers are also there. The situation is being monitored and people should not be worried,” said Adan.

The area is currently under heavy security presence following the Operation Linda Boni being executed inside the expansive Boni forest.

The alert comes days after four al-Shabaab militants were gunned down by KDF in the same area on June 29 this year.

A KDF soldier was injured in the altercation during which four AK-47 riffles, a rocket propelled grenade, an IED and two hand grenades were seized by the soldiers.