Lamu police allay fears after locals report ‘seeing Al-Shabaab militants’

Police have allayed Lamu residents’ fears after locals in Ndeu village reported “seeing armed men” they suspect are Al-Shabaab militants on Saturday.

Locals said the armed men were seen heading towards the Ndeu power station which is just a few kilometers from Milihoi, suspected Al-Shabaab fighters ambushed police officers, killing one and injuring two others on Thursday last week.

During the Thursday attack, a police Land Cruiser and a private pickup truck, were torched by the militants, who then fled to the nearby Boni Forest.

Locals who talked to the Nation said the men, who were armed with guns, were wearing hooded plain jungle green uniforms.

“We told the police what we saw and I hope action will be taken,” said a Hindi resident Mr Benson Mwangi.

But Lamu County Administration Police Commander Charles Mbatu said the armed men the locals reported seeing are likely a team of security personnel who have been patrolling the area since the Milihoi attack on Thursday.

Mr Mbatu said there is a huge presence of officers from the Kenya Defence Forces, General Service Unit, Rapid Deployment Unit, Anti-Terrorism Police Unit and regular police who have been deployed in the area.

However, Mr Mbatu encouraged the public to continue reporting any suspicious activities or people to the police for prompt interventions.

“It’s true. We received reports from members of the public that suspicious persons had been seen within Ndeu area. We immediately dispatched a team of security officers there. They have combed that area but haven’t seen a thing.

We think locals could have easily confused the huge number of KDF soldiers and police deployed in the area since Thursday. There is massive security operation going on there,” said Mr Mbatu.

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