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Kenyans kidnapped by al Shabaab yet to be found

14 October 2014, 17:01 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Kenyans kidnapped by al Shabaab militia last week in Lamu have yet to be found, police have admitted.

Suspected Al-Shabaab militia on Friday abducted the five at Kiunga, along the border with Somalia in the besieged coastal town.

Lamu County Commissioner Njenga Miiri confirmed the incident, saying the heavily armed militants hijacked two vehicles which were ferrying miraa within Kiunga area.

"We are pursuing the gunmen. We believe they are Al-Shabaab members," Miiri then said. "The five comprising of drivers and loaders are in the hands of Al-Shabaab. But we have launched a security operation to help free them, he said."

Speaking Tuesday though, deputy commissioner of police Samson Arachi conformed that the five were yet to be found or released.

"Sadly, we are yet to find them and that is a worry. However, we are continuing to follow leads that may lead to their release, he told News24.

Read also: Al Shabaab kidnaps 5 in Lamu

Arachi also said that the team that has been searching for the five has expanded its search.

" We have expanded our search and hopefully it will bear fruit," he added.

Miiri had said a combined team of military and police officers have been deployed in the region to help crack down on the insurgents.

In August, Al-Shabaab militants beheaded a Kenyan driver abducted at Kiunga. The body of George Mwita was discovered on Aug. 22 during rescue operation carried out by Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers and police within the vast Boni forest.

Police have extended the dusk-to-dawn curfew in Lamu in a bid to restore normalcy in the volatile region.

Since the curfew was imposed in July, the county has experienced a reduction of incidents of insecurity, and life as well as economic and social activities are gradually returning to normal, according to the police.

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