Mombasa (Kenya) – Kenyan security forces on Wednesday in Mombasa confirmed the destruction of five camps used by suspected militants linked to the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab in a sweep of a forest on the north coast.
James Serian, Commander in charge of the operations, said the army and police launched the operation to flush out militants that were using the area to launch strikes in Kenya.
“The combined security units discovered five different al Shabaab hideouts inside the forest.
“The hideouts have already been destroyed and the weapons handed to the government,’’ he said.
He said Al Shabaab has been behind a spate of attacks on Kenya in the past two years, including an assault on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall that killed 67 people and a raid on Garissa University in the northeast that killed almost 150.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560”]
Serian said the militants also launched several attacks in 2014 that left more than 100 dead in Lamu County region, an area that includes Boni forest.
He said the militants fled when the operation was launched and none were arrested in the raids.
The commander said several people in the surrounding area, mostly Kenyans, had been detained on suspicion of having links to the group.
Serian said some of them would soon be charged to court for prosecution.
Military planes and helicopters have been sweeping the area since the operation began and local residents have reported sporadic sounds of gunfire and blasts from the area.(Reuters/NAN)