Suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen hijack Lamu bus


Al-Shabaab militants in a file image. It is still unclear how many gunmen attacked the Mombasa Raha bus. [File, Standard]

Gunmen believed to be Al-Shabaab fighters mid-day Thursday attacked a passenger bus at Nyongoro near Witu town in Lamu County.

Nyongoro falls within a volatile area of Lamu where an insurgency by Al Shabaab militants has spread to since mid-2017.

The Mombasa-Raha operated bus was travelling from Mombasa to Lamu town.

Area county police boss Irungu Macharia confirmed the incident to Standard Digital, adding that a security team has been deployed to the area.

He said that at least three people have been confirmed dead.

He added he was in communication with officers on the ground and promised to share more information as soon as he received them.

A police OB report of the incident seen by Standard Digital did not say how many passengers were on the bus registered KCH 141Z.

“The bullets landed on the right front wheel damaging it, and other bullets landing on both sides of the bus body. Three men were shot at close range,” the report read.

It added, “One man was injured on the arm and one on the head.  They have been rushed to Garsen and Witu dispensaries respectively.”

A second bus company, Simba Coach, also confirmed to us that their bus was attacked and its conductor killed.

The Nyongoro area has seen numerous such attacks in the past with the terrorists fleeing into Boni Forest after the ambushes.

It is under the multi-agency security, operation Linda Boni, which smokes the militants from their camps in the forest.

The operation was launched by then-Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery in 2015.