On Thursday, heavily armed suspected al-Shabaab militants attacked the Juhudi Primary School IDP (internally displaced persons) camp in Lamu, Kenya. Security agencies swiftly responded, leading to a fierce 10-minute-long exchange of fire between the attackers and security forces.
Juhudi, Lamu County, KENYA. By Yahya:
The militants stormed the camp at approximately 3:30 am, opening fire indiscriminately. Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers, National Police Service (NPS) officers, and National Police Reservists (NPR) guarding the camp swiftly confronted the assailants, resulting in a ten-minute-long firefight. The security officers eventually overwhelmed the assailants and forced them to retreat into the nearby Boni Forest.
Addressing the incident, Gabriel Kioni, Lamu West Deputy County Commissioner, told the Star, “Our officers were alert. KDF threw tracer bullets in the air that greatly helped to locate the enemy. […] So far, the area is well guarded and calm.”
Earlier attacks on Juhudi
The Juhudi Primary School IDP camp houses over 200 families who sought refuge there on 23 June after the first terrorist attack in Juhudi and Salama villages, which resulted in five casualties and the destruction of six houses.
This thwarted attack follows a similar incident on 12 July when heavily armed militants attempted to infiltrate the same IDP camp. However, the NPR officers managed to repel the attackers. During that encounter, one officer sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder.
Recent Lango la Simba attack
On Tuesday, suspected al-Shabaab militants killed two people in the Lango La Simba area on the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road, heightening security concerns in the region.
Residents of Lamu West have witnessed a series of terror-related incidents, including the burning of houses and a church in Salama village, attacks on vehicles along the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road, and the torching of homes in Salama Block 17 and Widho villages. These events have resulted in the loss of lives and significant property damage, raising questions about the government’s seriousness in assuring the safety of residents in the region.