Militants attack convoy of buses in Lamu, but police deny reports
A convoy of five buses was on Tuesday evening ambushed by militants on the Lamu-Mombasa road.
But Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet has dismissed the reports as false.
“The reported attack on bus convoy in Lamu is all false. To the contrary the enemy has suffered serious setbacks in the last 12 hours,” Mr Boinnet tweeted on his handle.
According to passengers who spoke to our sister publication Daily Nation, they were attacked at around 6.30pm at Milihoi in Mkunumbi, Lamu.
BUSES TURNED AROUND
Gunshots were heard from different directions, forcing the drivers to turn around and head to Mkunumbi Town where they stayed until the gunfire died down.
The firefight is said to have lasted for about twenty minutes.
“We were in a convoy of five buses. When we reached Milihoi, which is a place between Mpekeoni and Hindi, we heard gunshots in the air.
“The police escorting the convoy ordered us to make an immediate U-turn back to Mkunumbi town centre where we spent about an hour while waiting for more police to escort us. During all of this, the gunshots could still be heard in the air. That took about twenty minutes,” said Mr Tawfiq Sayid, a passenger.
A local administrator who talked to Daily Nation on condition of anonymity said he also heard the gunshots about TWO kilometres from where he was.
However, Lamu County Police Coordinating Commander Chrispus Mutali denied having any knowledge of the attack and rubbished the matter, terming it an “unreliable rumour”.
“We are on the ground … We are not aware of any attack on any convoy and so we are treating this as a baseless rumour,” he said.
AFP, an international news agency, had also claimed that heavily-armed militants had on Tuesday attacked a convoy of passenger buses and their army escorts in the Lamu region.
According to the story, the attack took place near the town of Mpeketoni, which was the scene of previous raids and massacres carried out by the Somali-led and Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab Islamist group.
“They used grenades and heavy guns. We came under intense attack. The bus was sprayed with bullets but it is a miracle nobody was hurt,” an eyewitness, who asked not to be named, told AFP, according to the story.