Four Al-Shabaab militants were on Sunday killed and five apprehended following a daring dawn raid when the militia attempted to overrun the American and Kenyan Army Base, Camp Simba in Manda Bay.
The militants who staged the 5am raid were however, repulsed by the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) personnel who were able to thwart attempts to fully breach the base that also doubles as an Airstrip where the KDF launches its Operation Linda Boni.
Americans also use the airstrip as a base where they launch drone operations into war torn Somalia.
This is despite reports by a section of the militants’ propaganda team that they had destroyed vital American installations that included two small aircrafts.
Speaking to KNA, the Lamu County Commissioner (CC), Macharia Irungu confirmed the incident that left many residents, especially in Hindi and the neighboring Mokowe villages frightened as heavy gunfire could be heard into mid-morning.
He refuted claims by Al Shabaab’s propaganda team that they had gained control of part of the army base, saying that the KDF had successfully secured the area and had managed to kill at least four militants and detain five for questioning.
“The National Government is very vigilant, and it is very unlikely that they could have gained control of the heavily fortified army base,” Irungu stated.
He assured Lamu residents of adequate security in the wake of growing concerns among residents over the National Government’s ability to address the lurking Al-Shabaab menace.
Al-Shabaab were able to carry out an ambush attack in Nyongoro area in which they attempted to hijack two Lamu bound buses, but were thwarted by KDF personnel.
The incident that took place on Thursday claimed the lives of three innocent civilians who were travelling to Lamu.
Lamu residents who also spoke to KNA in Hindi expressed concern over the security status of Lamu.
“The current situation is not promising, especially with the expected launch of the port later this year,” Jillo Kadzo, a mechanic based in Hindi interviewed by KNA intimated.
He narrated the heavy gunfire that left many within the town that neighbours the naval base by about 10 kilometres, fearing for their lives over whether the fighting might spill over into the town.
However, the Lamu County Police Commander, Perminus Kioi stated that the security agents within the County were up to the task of handling any Al-Shabaab insurgency within Lamu.
He also assured travelers of adequate security both on the road with the police providing escorts for public service vehicles.
The Police Boss assurances also come in the wake of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority reopening the civilian Manda Airstrip that had earlier today been closed following the dawn attack.
The County Commissioner also stated that it was safe to travel to Lamu despite the recent attacks that have left many residents wary of travelling through the New Year.
By Amenya Ochieng