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Harrowing terror attack: Unfolding details of the deadly Lamu ambush

The details of a harrowing terror attack in Lamu County, which resulted in the tragic loss of two lives and left numerous others injured, are now coming to light.

Nairobi News has established the attack started on the morning of August 1, 2023, between Nyangoro and Lango La Simba area at the border of Lamu and Tana River Counties.

The suspected militants first started by attacking a motor vehicle that belongs to the Hindi Maximum Prison of registration number GK500 U.

A Mr Salim Macheye was driving the vehicle, a Land Cruiser.

“They managed to drive through the deadly shoot-out and escaped to Gamba Police Station where they reported the deadly incident. The motor vehicle they were in was shot twice at the back on the canvas and near the rear door. Nobody in the vehicle was injured,” a police report seen by this reporter read in part.

Immediately they informed the police of what had transpired, a multi-agency team which comprised of regular police officers, Kenya Defense Forces officers, officers from the General Service Unit (GSU) and sleuths attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) proceeded to the scene.

Along the way, the multi-agency team found a Probox car which had bullet holes parked at the Kijo Farm area.

The driver of the probox identified as Mr Alex Ouro, 42, said that he was shot at close range by people who were dressed in military uniform but he managed to drive through and escaped uninjured.

Two kilometers from where the Probox had been parked was a matatu of registration number KDC 949W, which was burnt to ashes.

Police say that the matatu was being driven by Mr Isaac Wanyoike, 45, and was carrying seven passengers from the Witu area.

“Four passengers had been injured and they were identified as Duncan Kinuthia, 36 who sustained injuries on the legs, Philemon Wambulwa, 49, who has bruises on the body, Mark Otisule, 21 injured on both legs and Ibrahim Salat, 45,” the report read in part.

The conductor of the matatu was identified as Mr Bahati Katana, 34, and was complaining of general body pains while the driver was injured on the right shoulder.

The matatu driver told the police that he panicked when he saw the armed militants, and the vehicle veered off the road before it overturned.

That is when the crew in the matatu and passengers escaped into a nearby bush, and by the time of going to press, one passenger had not been accounted for.

Just a kilometer from where the matatu was burnt, another vehicle of registration number GKB 429S which belongs to the Kenya Fisheries Department in Mombasa was found parked on the right side of the road and also had bullet holes.

The driver of the vehicle identified as Mr Wycliffe Odhiambo, 32, was driving from Minjila General direction towards Witu General direction when they were shot by people dressed in military uniform.

“He parked the vehicle at the roadside and escaped into the nearby bushes and the whereabouts of the occupants in the vehicle is yet to be known,” the statement further read.

Those in the vehicle included; Mwaka Barabara, Robbert Wanyama and Grace Nduku.

Another kilometer from the vehicle, which belongs to the Kenya Fisheries there was an unknown body of an African male adult found in the middle of the road and had been partly burnt.

Beside the body, which also had gunshot wounds on the back, there was also a motorbike that had been completely burnt.

About 300 meters from the burnt motorcycle was yet another one that had also been completely burnt.

The scene was processed, and the burnt body was taken to the Malindi Sub-County Hospital morgue awaiting identification and postmortem.

“The fisheries department vehicle was driven to Gamba police station as well as the motorcycles. The injured victims were rushed to nearby hospitals at Witu and Garsen,” the report further read.

In the recent past, there has been an increase in the number of terror-related attacks, especially in the vast North-Eastern region and in Lamu County.

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