One person was killed and six injured, including Hindi Member of County Assembly (MCA) James Njaaga and his wife, after suspected Al Shabaab militants ambushed them in the Mwembeni area on the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road on Tuesday.
Lamu West Deputy Commissioner Gabriel Kioni said the attack took place at around 7.30 am.
According to preliminary investigations, the militants organised themselves into groups before hiding in the bush on both sides of the road.
They then began firing indiscriminately at vehicles passing along the road.
One of the first vehicles to be attacked was the Hindi GK prison vehicle traveling from Lamu to Mombasa.
It was attacked from behind, but the driver managed to speed away from the scene.
The second vehicle attacked was that of the MCA, who was traveling to Mombasa with his family.
They were traveling behind the Hindi GK Prison vehicle.
The MCA’s vehicle was sprayed with bullets.
Mr. Njaaga was shot in the leg while his wife was seriously injured in the head.
Other members of the family, including a child who was in the vehicle, escaped unhurt.
The terrorists used a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) to unsuccessfully target a Nyongoro Special Operations Group (Sog) armoured personnel vehicle whose occupants were responding to the initial attacks.
Several vehicles, including a Fisheries Department vehicle and a Nissan, were also attacked in the morning, but all were rescued by the special forces, who engaged the terrorists before they were overpowered and fled into the nearby forest.
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“The Nyongoro Special Forces and other security agencies are already on the ground fighting the enemy. I have only received reports of an unspecified number of casualties. I will give more details later,” said Mr Kioni.
The MCA and his wife were rushed to a health centre for first aid treatment.
Witu Ward MCA Suleiman Farah, who spoke to the Nation by telephone, said his colleague was in a stable condition.
The couple have been taken to Mombasa for further treatment.
The attack comes just six days after President William Ruto and Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki toured Lamu and assured citizens of their safety.
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President Ruto was in the area to open the Lamu County Commissioner’s administrative block in Mokowe, Lamu West, and to present cheques to the fishing community in the area.
During the event, Prof Kindiki vowed that the government would do everything possible to fully restore security in Lamu County.
“Although I have witnessed incidents of insecurity in this place, I still see light at the end of the tunnel. Lamu is good in terms of tourism, fishing, and agriculture among other economic activities, and we want to ensure that citizens here enjoy the peace to pave the way for development. The government is working hard to address all the historical injustices in Lamu so that these incidents of insecurity can be completely eradicated,” said Prof Kindiki.
Tuesday’s attack also comes just three weeks after a farm caretaker was set ablaze in his home by armed assailants suspected to be Al Shabaab militants in Salama Block 17, Lamu West.
On the night of June 24, 2023, heavily armed assailants believed to be Al Shabaab militants raided Salama and Juhudi villages between 7.30pm and 10pm, where they dragged people, all men, from their homes, tied their hands and legs with ropes behind their backs, and beheaded them.
Five people, including a Form Three student of Bakanja Secondary School identified as Barrack Hussein, 19, who had just returned home for half term that evening, were killed, while six houses were torched.