Monday December 21, 2020
File photo of an area cordoned off by Kenya Police in a past operation. /Photo courtesy: National Police Service - Twitter
LAMU, Kenya, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police officers escaped death narrowly on Sunday following a roadside blast in the coastal Lamu County.
Gabriel Musau, coast regional police commander, said the vehicle in which a team of special forces from the Border Patrol Unit (BPU) was traveling in was targeted by al-Shabab militants in Nyangoro area, Lamu County.Musau said the attackers escaped soon after their failed attempt to hit the vehicle using an improvised explosive device.
The police commander said there are no injuries or damages that were reported in the foiled incident.
"No casualties were reported. They escaped after their attempt failed but we are pursuing them," said Musau on the phone.
This is the latest such attempt on security forces after a lull of almost eight months in the tourism resort area.
The militants operate from the neighboring Somalia which is facing a security crisis over terror-related incidents.
Musau said they had enhanced operations in the area to tame any planned attack after locals had earlier expressed fears the incident was an indication the terrorists or their remnants are operating within the area.
The police said in a report that the incident happened as the officers were escorting some motor vehicles at about 11.15 am along Lamu-Gamba road in Nyongoro.
"The officers responded and a heavy exchange of fire ensued. Vehicles behind the lead escort car were stopped as the officers battled the armed men," the police said in the report.
"The vehicles with the convoy which were behind the lead escort car were stopped as the officers battled the armed men," the police said.
The police believe that the militant group still remains the major threat in areas along the coastal region, noting that the targets include security personnel and establishments along the border as well as commuter vehicles plying routes along the coastal regions.