Several GSU officers injured in suspected al-Shabaab attack in Lamu

Officers IED

Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) special forces officers in operation at Mangai in Boni forest in Lamu County. An armoured personnel carrier with 10 GSU officers ran over an explosive device at Mlima wa Faru, between Pandanguo and Witu in Lamu on Sunday, June 18, 2023.

Photo credit: Kalume Kazungu | Nation Media Group

An armoured personnel carrier (APC) vehicle ran over an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) suspected to have been planted on the road by Al-Shabaab militants at Mlima wa Faru, between Pandanguo and Witu in Lamu County.

Lamu West Deputy County Commissioner Gabriel Kioni, speaking to Nation.Africa confirmed the Sunday 9.30am incident.

Mr Kioni, however, affirmed that no casualties were reported in the morning ambush that left several officers injured.

More than 10 General Service Unit (GSU) officers were aboard the vehicle and were in their routine patrol within the Pandanguo route which borders the vast Boni forest where a multi-agency security Operation Amani Boni (OAB) is ongoing.

The operation was launched in September 2015 with its initial name being Operation Linda Boni. Its objective is to flush out Al-Shabaab militants believed to be hiding inside the dense Boni Forest.

“I have received reports that a GSU armoured personnel vehicle has run over an IED at Mlima wa Faru along the Witu-Pandanguo road. The officers are from the Pandanguo GSU camp and were on their normal patrol in the area before the vehicle ran over the explosive. I am informed the militants came out of the forest and tried to attack the officers after the vehicle fell. An exchange of fire ensued. No casualty so far reported,” said Mr Kioni.

He added, “There is a team of KDF soldiers and a special operation unit headed to the area of attack to reinforce the team on the ground. The fight is still on but we will manage the situation. No cause for alarm.”

Mlima wa Faru where the GSU officers were attacked on Sunday is the same area where a KDF soldier died and four others injured on December 30, 2022.

The KDF troops were on patrol when their vehicle triggered the IED suspected to have been planted on the road by Al-Shabaab militants.

A day before the KDF troops attack at Mlima wa Faru on December 30 last year, a police patrol vehicle ran over an IED within the same place, leaving an officer injured in the explosion.

The Sunday GSU attack also comes just a fourth night after Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki visited Lamu for a three-day tour to assess the security situation in the region.

Mr Kindiki had assured Lamu residents and Kenyans at large that their safety is guaranteed.

CS Kindiki had also said the government will do all it takes to fight and end the Al-Shabaab menace in the country.

He also took time to condole the over eight security officers who died in a recent Al-Shabaab attack on the Lamu-Garissa border.

“We will not relent until we execute the last terrorist in this country. The government has invested a lot in matters security. We’ve already set aside Sh20 billion to purchase advanced security equipment, including armoured personnel carrier vehicles, drones and other gadgets so that our security agencies get proper safety as they effectively fight the terrorists,” said Mr Kindiki.

CS Kindiki also lauded the security agencies partaking in Operation Amani Boni for ensuring the Lamu security and peace is restored and stabilized.