BY CORRESPONDENT,LAMU,10TH JULY 2017-The air strikes against Al-Shabaab terrorists believed to be hiding in Boni Forest have been intensified.
Coast Regional Co-ordinator Nelson Marwa on Monday 10tyh July also revealed that last week’s Al-Shabaab raids in Lamu were politically motivated.
“Why have the attacks suddenly increased? This is politics. Leaders looking for votes should stop lying about the curfew,” said Mr Marwa.
He added that even as the operation to flush terrorists from the forest continued, the government had begun moving residents to safer areas.
“As we speak, air strikes are on. Boni belongs to Kenya and Al-Shabaab must know we will secure it,” the administrator said at Kenya School of Government, Mombasa, after a meeting with top security officials.
He added that residents harbouring terrorists would be arrested.
Mr Marwa said people in areas affected by the curfew would be allowed to conduct and attend prayers. He also asked those living near bonni forest to seek shelter in other safer places as strikes are likely to increase in the coming days a move that could put their lives in danger.
Concerns have been raised over increased Al-Shabaab attacks targeting security personnel and non-natives in Lamu County despite the “Linda Boni” Security Operation.
Villagers said several terrorists suspected to have been injured during last Wednesday’s attack could be receiving treatment in the vast forest. The attackers decapitated 13 people.
On Sunday, the residents reported seeing bloodied bandages and gloves on paths used by the escaping terrorists after they attacked a police post.
On Monday, Operation Linda Boni director James ole Seriani said a number of militants had been killed by security forces since September 2015.
Mr Seriani said people who attacked Pandanguo and Jima would be arrested soon.
Residents of Pandanguo, Jima and Poromoko are also counting heavy losses following the destruction of their crops by animals after they fled the areas.
Others could not visit their farms for fear of being attacked.
Mr Seriani said the security operation was a success.
“We have deployed many officers to the area to pursue the attackers. We will definitely get them soon.”
Mr Seriani urged the public to support the operation by reporting any suspicious persons or events to security personnel.
“Among the achievements we have made include setting up of seven communication masts and grading the 100 kilometre Hindi-Kiunga road.
We have also established police stations and secured them,” he added.
Mr Seriani said several schools, health centres and other infrastructure were being rehabilitated.