Days after US intelligence warned Kenya of a possible terrorist attack, the worst happened. Al Shabaab militia attacked three buses at Nyongoro area on the Mombasa-Lamu road and killed three people.
Quick response from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) led to the annihilation of four of the terrorists, but undaunted, the Al Shabaab terrorists attempted yet another attack on Manda Bay Airstrip in Lamu on Sunday. They were repulsed by a joint US and KDF effort. In the process, four militia were killed and five suspects arrested.
It is in the public domain that Al Shabaab terrorists operate from the Boni forest along the Kenya-Somalia border. Following repeated terrorist attacks on security installations and civilians in Lamu in 2014 and 2015, Operation Linda Boni was launched in 2015 to flush the terrorists out of their hideouts in the forest. But while the operation has largely been limited to Al Shabaab militia, it has not succeeded in fully vanquishing them, as the latest attacks prove.
In the wake of heightened tension between Iran and the US, a key Kenya ally, our security forces must be on high alert. By virtue of the association with America, Kenya has, in the past, been a target of the hostilities against the US. In August 1998, for instance, the bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi resulted in 213 deaths. In more recent times, there have been the Westgate, Garissa University and dusitD2 hotel attacks.
We applaud our security forces for containing the situation in Lamu but urge greater surveillance and enhancement of security across the country. We do not know where the terrorists are lurking, but we believe our security agencies are at the top of their game.
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