Nairobi: Security forces Monday recovered a police vehicle that had been stolen during a terror attack at Milihoi near Mkunumbi area of Lamu County in December 2015.
During the operation to flush out militants from Boni Forest, the Multi-agency security forces also killed four al Shabaab militants while pursuing the vehicle.
The Administration Police vehicle, a Ford Ranger double cabin registration number GKB 595J, had been reported missing in December 2015 with Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet warning that it could be used misused by criminals or even terrorists in any part of the country.
The Ministry of Defence spokesperson Colonel David Obonyo said the security forces patrolling the Kenya-Somalia border along Boni Forest picked trail of the suspicious vehicle on Saturday, January 30, 2016.
“The vehicle was trailed to Boni Forest where the security agencies established that its occupants were Al Shabaab terrorists. The forces engaged the terrorists inside the Boni Forest killing four of them instantly,” said Obonyo in a statement.
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He said two other terrorists escaped with multiple bullet wounds and asked residents to report any individuals seeking medical attention with injuries inflicted under unclear circumstances.
Obonyo said there were no casualties on the security forces' side.
The vehicle was however damaged during the operation in which four AK 47 rifles, three Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), three pistols and Global Positioning System (GPS) gadget were recovered.
“The security forces recovered the vehicle but realised it was rigged with explosives and booby-trapped, prompting them to detonate the explosives,” said Obonyo.
The vehicle branded with the green and maroon Administration Police colours was stolen by terrorists who ambushed officers on board on December 16, 2015 in Mkunumbi prompting the police to raise the alert.
At some point during the search, the police car had been traced to Somalia. There were fears the terrorists who stole it could sneak it back to Kenya with explosives and launch attacks.
Boinnet warned that Kenya is facing a “real terror threat” after al Shabaab terrorists split into two—one supporting the Islamic State and the other Al Qaeda.
Security agencies have intensified operations in Lamu and along the Kenya/Somalia border to tame increased attacks by the terror groups.