Suspected Shabaab attackers injure Judiciary staff in Lamu

Judiciary vehicle Lamu attack

The Judiciary vehicle which was sprayed with bullets by suspected Al-Shabaab attackers in Lamu on January 26, 2022. two court officials were injured.

Photo credit: Kalume Kazungu | Nation Media Group

A group of heavily armed suspected Al-Shabaab militants on Wednesday ambushed a Judiciary vehicle with over five court officials and sprayed it with bullets in Lango la Simba area near Nyongoro in Lamu County.

The vehicle, which was headed to Garsen town from Kipini Mobile Court, came under attack at around 5.50pm.

Those who were in the vehicle included the driver, Garsen Law Courts Senior Principal Magistrate Paul Rotich, court prosecutor, court assistant, clerk and two police officers.

The Judiciary officials had spent the day at the mobile court in Kipini village in Tana River County.

Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata said security officers who responded immediately repulsed the attackers.

Mr Elungata said two court officials were injured during the incident.

Magistrate unharmed

He also confirmed that the magistrate escaped unharmed.

"All the occupants in the Judiciary vehicle are safe. Security teams responded immediately and repulsed [the attackers],” said Mr Elungata.

Mr Elungata said security agencies were still active on the ground, pursuing the attackers and promised to give an update later.

A security officer on the ground, who talked to Nation.Africa on condition of anonymity since he is not authorised to speak to the media, said the attackers launched a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) targeting the Judiciary vehicle but missed.

“After the RPG missed the target, the terrorists went ahead to spray the vehicle with bullets. The driver lost control and the vehicle veered off the road. That’s the time that the occupants got the chance to run into the nearby bushes. Several of the occupants were injured. We responded immediately and we rescued all of them. Those injured have been rushed to the Garsen Hospital,” said the officer.

Construction camp attack

The attack comes barely four days after suspected Al-Shabaab militants raided a mini-construction camp belonging to the China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC) at Kwa Omollo Bridge, near Bodhei inside Boni Forest and torched eight construction vehicles.

The site, which is guarded by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers, is being used in the construction of the Sh17.9 billion Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor Project access road.

The armed militants raided the camp by around 4am last Sunday.

The contractor has suspended construction work at the site until the government guarantees security.

The Sunday morning attack and the Wednesday evening attack also come just a week after reports were leaked that Al-Shabaab militants were targeting the Lapsset and any other related projects in the region.

Since the beginning of this year, the militia group has been carrying out targeted attacks on civilians and security officers.

At least 15 people, including four GSU officers, have been killed in various villages of Lamu, including Widho, Juhudi-Ukumbi, Marafa, Mashogoni, Milihoi, and Bobo-Sunkia this month alone.


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