Police destroy Al Shabaab hideouts, seize guns in Boni forest
17 November 2015, 10:34
Lamu - Security forces have destroyed hideouts for Al Shabaab militants and recovered six firearms and cache of ammunition in the ongoing security operation in Boni Forest in the coastal town of Lamu.
Director operations James Ole Serian said the guns were found hidden in the forest within Pandaguo area of Lamu which is close to the Kenya-Somalia border.
Ole Serian said they are investigating if the firearms were smuggled by Al Shabaab to be used to carry out attacks or they are same guns used in past terrorists attacks witnessed in Lamu.
"Kenya wildlife rangers recovered the guns in the ongoing operation to flush out the militants. We are investigating the persons who hid the gun and their motives," said Ole Serian said on Monday.
Panda Nguo is one of the locations where more than 100 people were killed in three days of incursions by Al Shabaab last year in Lamu County.
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Ole Serian said the Five 302 and FN assault rifles with 27 bullets were handed over to forensic experts for ballistic examination, reiterating that the security forces will not be leaving the Boni forest anytime soon.
He hinted that the security operation which kicked off two months ago to flush out the insurgents who have been using the camps to launch attacks on innocent Kenyans, could take more than the three months originally planned.
Operation Linda Boni by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), police, National Intelligence Service among other security agents was launched on Sept. 4 and was expected to last 90 days.
Ole Serian said the government had mapped out 13 areas believed to be hotbeds of militants linked to multiple terror attacks in Tana River, Garissa and Lamu County in the last two years.
Police and military officials say the insurgents had permanent bases deep in Boni forest, where they lived with their families, hunted for food, trained and plotted attacks in the country. Several militants' camps have been destroyed after intensive operations led by KDF.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said the security agents are on higher alert in the wake of Paris attacks in France waged by the Islamic States (ISIS).
Boinnet said they have intensified anti terrorism operation across the country but urged Kenyans to be vigilant to avert possible attacks.
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