On Wednesday, January 25, the suspected Islamist militants ambushed the vehicle that was ferrying the five court officials in Lamu County. According to a police report, Garsen Law Courts Senior Principal Magistrate Paul Rotich, the court’s prosecutor and his assistant, a court clerk and two police officers were headed to Garsen town from Kipini Mobile Courts when they were attacked.
Coast Regional Commissioner, John Elungata, confirmed the incident, noting that the suspected Al Shabaab militants had planned to eliminate the court officials in the ambush.
Elungata noted that the quick response by a team of security operatives dispatched to Lango La Simba area, where the attack happened, repulsed the attackers.
“All the occupants in the Judiciary vehicle are safe. Security teams responded immediately and repulsed (the attackers),â€ Elungata stated.
He added that the security officers were in pursuit of the armed militia who fled the scene and headed to the Boni forest area.
Elungata, however, confirmed that two court officials sustained injuries but had been rushed to nearby health facilities for medical attention.
The suspected Al Shabaab militants have laid ambush on several occasions in Lamu County, incidents that have forced the government to restrict movements in some parts of the county.
Barely four days ago, a mini construction camp in the area was raided and eight construction vehicles belonging to the China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC) torched.
The attack led to the suspension of all activities at the camp until normalcy is restored and security of the company’s employees assured.
The constant attacks in Lamu saw the Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i, issued a dusk to dawn curfew in specific towns identified to be risk prone areas.
These areas include Majembeni, Ndamwe, Mkunumbi, Pandanguo, Witu, Hamasi and Binde Warinde locations. Others are Bomani, Pongwe, Mpeketoni, Bahari, Mapenya and Hindi locations.