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Militant killed as army thwarts night assault on Lamu AP camp

By Linah Benyawa | July 15th 2016

Security forces Thursday beat back a daring raid on an Administration Police AP camp in Mangai in the northern part of Lamu County. One attacker died in the incident.

Reports indicate the attack involved about a dozen armed terrorists who descended on the camp from different directions at around 2am with rifle fire and rocket-propelled grenades, and attempted to overrun it.

Unconfirmed reports say an officer was shot and injured in the attack launched from nearby forests, about 48 hours after militiamen attacked a police patrol and killed a policeman in Ishakani, where Lamu's border with Garissa meets Kenya's boundary with Somalia.

The attacks, together with the June 29 near-simultaneous raids on AP camps in Milimani and Mangai in Lamu East, were blamed on Al Shabaab fighters who have been hiding in the forested parts of the county since mid-2014, when militants massacred residents of Mpeketoni.

The national government has deployed a multi-agency force to combat the militants following a widening campaign by insurgents who planted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on key roads and staged ambushes on military, police and civilian vehicles that peaked with the June 15 attack on a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) camp in Baure, Lamu East.

Security officials yesterday said they were not in a position to tell where the attackers emerged from, but confirmed they fired from different directions in the dark.

Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said the militia attempted to launch an attack on the AP camp, sparking a fierce exchange of fire in which one militant was killed. He denied reports that an officer was killed.

"At around 2am yesterday, police thwarted an attempted attack on an AP camp in Mangai in Lamu East near the Somalia border, and one Al Shabaab militia was gunned down following a heavy exchange of fire and an AK-47 rifle and grenades were recovered from the body," said Mr Kanyiri.

The attack happened exactly two weeks after the same camp was raided and four militants were killed, and a police officer wounded. In the June 29 assault, police recovered a rocket-propelled grenade, two hand grenades, four AK-47 rifles and one unexploded IED from fleeing and slain attackers.

Col David Obonyo of KDF Public Affairs said after that raid, forces repulsed a terrorist raid in Milimani near Baure.

"The troops had been in hot pursuit of Al Shabaab terrorists Thursday morning after they staged a probing attack on a KDF camp in Mangai-Lamu County," said Mr Obonyo.

Kanyiri said they were pursuing the suspects whom they believe could be hiding in Boni Forest.

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