Lamu’s Operation Linda Boni commander James Ole Serian moved

The head of an operation aimed at wiping out Al-Shabaab militia from Boni Forest in Lamu County has been moved in changes.

James Ole Serian was moved to Harambee House, Nairobi for redeployment. Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri was ordered to take over the operation immediately.

It is not clear what prompted the changes made by Harambee House.

The operation was launched in 2015 to stop Al-Shabaab attacks that had been on the rise killing dozens of locals.

Thousands of people had been uprooted from their homes while businesses, public transport and farming ground to a halt. The deadliest attack happened in Mpeketoni and Pandaguo in 2014 where more than 90 people were killed.

The operation is being carried out by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), the National Police Service, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and other State security agencies.

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Officials said it is three-pronged: As KDF soldiers engage the militants in direct combat that involves aerial bombardments and infantry soldiers combing every inch of the forest, NIS detectives infiltrate neighbouring villages to pick out those collaborating with the terrorists, while police officers arrest and interrogate suspects with the aim of charging them in court.

But the attacks have resumed in the last month killing more than 18 people.

On Monday night, gunshots were heard in the area when the militants attempted to attack a police camp hours after President Kenyatta had ordered their killing.

The about 30 militants were seen loitering near Mukowe General Service Unit camp Monday night with plans to attack them prompting a sentry officer to open fire.

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