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‘Recite Shahada’: Police detail how Lamu attack happened

Police have detailed the tragic events of Lamu bus attack on Thursday afternoon in Nyongoro area that left three innocent people and four terrorists dead.

A statement by John Wabuke,  the Officer Commanding Station in Witu, states that the militants who were five in number stopped three buses. In one of the buses, the militants ordered all the passengers out before asking them to recite Shahada, a Muslim prayer.

“They stopped the TSS bus and instructed 51 passengers to say Shahada. The attackers said that they were demanding for their rights before shooting two passengers,” read the statement in part.

Several other passengers were injured in the attack and taken to various hospitals in Lamu County. Another bus that was stopped by the militants is the Simba Coach bus which was headed to Lamu from Mombasa.

SUSPICIOUS INDIVIDUALS

Only the conductor identified as Mahamed Mane was shot dead by the militants. The driver had realised that the group that had flagged him to stop was not made of police officers but suspicious individuals.

Another bus that was stopped by the militants, which belongs to Mombasa Raha company, had a total of 47 passengers. The driver of the bus known as Raymond Juma had been flagged by the militants to stop but he drove on.

The five militants then started shooting the tyres of the bus and deflated them in the process. “The said terrorists were two on the left side and two on the right side of the bus who sprayed bullets to the said bus deflating the front tyres,” the statement read.

The driver managed to drive the bus for 500 meters before it stalled and he immediately asked the passengers to run for their lives. It is then that one of the passengers called the police and informed them of the attack.

The vehicles had left Mombasa at 6.30am on Thursday in a convoy of three buses that were under the escort of police officers.

Security agencies later pursued the attackers, killed four and arrested one.