Suspected al-Shabaab militants kill one, torch houses in Lamu county
Lamu County has once again been hit by a suspected al-Shabaab attack on Wednesday morning, leaving one person dead and several houses burnt.
The attack occurred in Widhu village, which is located near the border with Somalia.
According to the survivors, the attackers stormed the village around 2:00 AM and started shooting indiscriminately.
They also set fire to some of the houses, forcing the residents to flee for their lives.
Some of the villagers managed to escape to a nearby forest, while others hid in their homes.
One of the victims, who identified himself as Hassan, said he lost his brother in the attack. He said he heard gunshots and saw flames outside his house.
He tried to wake up his brother, who was sleeping in another room, but it was too late. He said he saw the attackers dragging his brother’s body outside and shooting him again.
Another survivor, who gave her name as Fatuma, said she was awakened by the sound of bullets hitting her roof. She said she grabbed her children and ran out of the house.
She said she saw some of her neighbours lying on the ground, bleeding. She said she did not know if they were alive or dead.
The attackers are believed to have fled back to Somalia after the raid. The security forces arrived at the scene later and launched a search operation for the militants.
The county commissioner, Irungu Macharia, confirmed the incident and said that one person was killed and four others were injured.
He said that the government was working to restore security and provide humanitarian assistance to the affected villagers.
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This is not the first time that Lamu county has been targeted by al-Shabaab militants. In June this year, five people, including a Form Three student, were killed and five houses were torched in Salama and Juhudi villages.
In January this year, six people were killed and several houses were raxed down in Widhu Majembeni area. In June last year, eight security officers died after their vehicle ran over a landmine in Bodhei along the Garissa-Lamu border.
These attacks have caused fear and tension among the residents of Lamu county, who have called for increased security measures from the government.
Al-Shabaab is a Somali-based terrorist group that has been waging a violent insurgency against the Somali government and its allies, including Kenya.
The group has claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks in Kenya, such as the Westgate mall siege in 2013, the Garissa University College massacre in 2015, and the DusitD2 hotel complex assault in 2019.