Nairobi, Aug 22 IANS | 2 months ago

Militants of the Al Shabaab extremist organisation Friday beheaded a Kenyan driver who was kidnapped at Kiunga near the border with Somalia in the coastal town of Lamu.

The body of George Mwita was discovered during a rescue operation carried out by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers and police within the vast Boni forest where the militants were hiding, Xinhua reported.

Lamu County Commissioner Njenga Miiri confirmed that the attackers tied Mwita's hands before slitting his throat. He said the operation that started Thursday had been delayed by heavy rainfall and terrains in the area.

"It's unfortunate that our personnel were unable to rescue him. But we are still hunting them (the militants) down," Miiri said.

The police said the deceased's three colleagues, all Muslims, were released unhurt Wednesday.

"Mwita's body was discovered during a joint military and police officers' operation deployed to hunt down the gunmen," Miiri said.

The official said the heavily armed attackers numbering more than 20 managed to escape to Somalia.

The four had driven to Somalia through the Kiunga border and dropped miraa or a plant with an amphetamine-like stimulant and were driving back to Garissa in northern Kenya when they were ambushed.

The gunmen took away two vehicles that were used to deliver the consignment of miraa from Garrissa to Ras Kiamboni area in Lamu East.

Detectives said one of the drivers released, identified as Amuar Abdi, said the attackers were all Somalis and were in military jungle uniform.

According to intelligence reports, a number of gunmen have been killed in the ongoing operation after the KDF soldiers bombed several training camps in the forest to flush out the militants.

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo Wednesday extended the dusk-to-dawn curfew in Lamu, which was to end on Aug 21, by a month.

Boni and other adjoining forests were declared prohibited areas while all public transport plying on the Lamu-Garsen road were allowed to move only under police escort during the day.

Kimaiyo added that since the curfew was imposed in July, the country has experienced a reduction of security problems, and life as well as economic and social activities are gradually returning to normal.

The Al Shabaab is a radical Islamist group linked to the Al Qaeda.

(Posted on 22-08-2014)

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