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Police pursue Al-Shabaab suspects over bus ambush

21 December 2014, 17:46

Lamu -Police on Sunday intensified their manhunt for Al-Shabaab suspects who sprayed a passenger bus with bullets along Mombasa-Lamu highway late on Saturday.

The gunmen hijacked a passenger bus within Garsen area in the coastal town of Lamu at around 4:00 p.m. local time. However, no passenger was injured in the Lamu-bound commuter bus that was packed with women.

Lamu County Commissioner Miiri Njenga confirmed late Saturday the attack. "We are to establish the motive of the attackers. It's still premature to conclude who the attackers were and more information will be shared later," Njenga said.

Sources within the police told Xinhua on Sunday that the gunmen, believed to be Al-Shabaab members, later released the bus after they discovered almost all the passengers were Muslims.

"The gunmen shot the fuel tanker and wheel before they took control of the vehicle, but we don't have any casualties and all the passengers are safe," said a police officer who sought anonymity.

There was, however, some conflicting information about the attack. Some passengers said the gunmen disembarked from the bus after the women passengers began to pray, while others said the gunmen called off the attack after they learned that most of the passengers were Muslims.

Njenga said they have launched investigations into the incident that has sparked tension in the town, which had in the past witnessed mass killings in June and July. He said they have also deployed enough security to the area to hunt down the bandits.

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- Xinhua


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