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Woman killed, officer missing in Lamu terror ambush

By Jane Mugambi | Published Sun, January 14th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 13th 2018 at 22:56 GMT +3
A police vehicle in flames after Alshabaab militants set it in fire.During the attack a laboratory technician was killed. She had hiked a lift to fill an insurance form at Gamba police station. [Standard]

Militants have killed a woman and injured five policemen in a brazen attack on a security patrol in Lamu County.

One officer was still missing last night after the raid in a volatile section of the highway between Witu and Gamba that left two vehicles burnt.

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About 15 policemen were caught up in the attack that left many of them injured.

Witnesses of the 11am raid said the attackers opened fire at two police patrol vehicles in which Jackline Wachira, a laboratory technician at Hindi dispensary, had hiked a lift as it approached Lango la Simba near Gamba from Mpeketoni.

Ms Wachira was shot in the head.

Ministry of Interior Spokesman Mwenda Njoka said swift action by the security team ensured that the buses drove past the ambush area safely and without further casualties.

“Immediately the attack happened, a contingent of security officers comprising of airborne and ground troops was dispatched from Boni Operation Centre,” said Njoka.

A local who asked not to be named said area residents had sighted armed militants in the vicinity on Friday night and passed on the information to security officials.

Narrating the ordeal, an officer who was among those attacked, said that more than 100 militants appeared to have laid an elaborate ambush on them.

Surprisingly, passengers were able to pass the same route safely a few minutes earlier with armed escort.

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Sunday Standard saw several injured officers at the scene before they were taken to Manda Hospital for treatment. One driver had two gunshots to the shoulder and right hand while other officers had wounds on their feet, with one suffering a dislocated hip.

The militants burnt the two police patrol vehicles as they retreated, with officers either in flight or in hiding.

Residents of Witu and Nyangoro have urged the government to bomb the thick Boni forest believed to be the hiding place for the militants.