Police discover Al-Shabaab hideout in Boni Forest

Security agencies working in Boni Forest, Lamu County have discovered a hideout for Al-Shabaab gang and recovered food and bombs.

This came as suspected terrorists shot and damaged a police chopper as it patrolled the disturbed area on Saturday.

The pilot managed to safely land it at Basuba General Service Camp. Police said the MI-17 chopper was overflying in Bodhei area when one of its engines was hit.

“Witnesses said they heard gunshots from the ground. The pilot and his crew said one of the engines went off after the incident which forced them to make an emergency landing,” said an official aware of the incident.

No one was injured in the incident. It came as the multi-agency security operation in Lamu discovered a makeshift Al-Shabaab camp at a location just five kilometers from the scene of IED attack along Kiunga-Sankuri road where ten KDF soldiers were last week killed and another ten injured. 

Some of the items recovered at the militants’ makeshift camp include 100 kilogrammes of rice, 20 kilogrammes of beans, 20 kilogrammes of sugar, 20 kilogrammes of cooking oil and two buckets of IED making materials.

In what is becoming a common pattern its asymmetric war against Kenyan security forces, Al-Shabaab militants often pitch makeshift hideouts in Boni Forest from where they lay ambushes and/or IED attacks on Kenya security personnel, particularly along the main supply routes in Lamu County and its environs before escaping back into Somalia.

The August 29, 2018 morning incident occurred at a time the soldiers were undertaking civil duties of fetching and supplying clean water to the residents of Lamu.

The hideout is suspected to have been used by the Al-Shabaab militants that staged the recent attack on KDF personnel and has since been destroyed.

A source from within the multi-agency operations in Lamu has intimated that that the ongoing security operations to flush out Al-Shabaab from their hideouts in Lamu and its environs shall continue full strength.

Since the inception of the Operation Linda Boni in 2015, security forces have destroyed hundreds of the militants’ makeshift camps in Boni Forest to the relief of many communities that live around and/or eke a living from the forest. 

But the terrorists continue to sneak back to the country where they stage attacks.