(KDRTV) – Police officers who were escorting three buses from Mombasa to Lamu on Thursday ran away when gunmen laid siege on the buses at Nyongoro Area, near Witu on Thursday, reports have claimed.
according to the People Daily, the officers escaped immediately the heard gunshots. According to The Standard, the officers escaped because they had been outnumbered by the gunmen and there is no way they were going engage.
The Mombasa-Lamu route is prone to terror attacks. The government banned night travel in 2014 following increased terror attacks targeting public vehicles.
Currently, all buses plying the route are supposed to be escorted by 10 armed officers riding in armoured vehicles. The buses are also supposed to travel in groups, with a police vehicle behind and another one in front of the fleet.
However, it has emerged that there was only one police escort for the three buses on Thursday. The vehicle was trailing the buses.
“Unlike other escorts where there are two Land Cruisers, one in front and the other behind, this time we had only one which was trailing the buses,” one of the passengers said.
At least three people died during the attack but witnesses say the number could be higher. The terrorists, who are believed to have been more than 50 in number, allegedly targeted non-Muslim male passengers and shot them at close range.
Raymond Juma, the driver of the Mombasa Raha bus, told journalists that he ignored orders from the terrorists to stop his vehicle. He kept on driving despite the gunmen firing a hail of bullets at the bus.
“As we approached they shot in the in air and ordered me to stop the bus,” Mr Raymond said.
“At about 100 meters from the van,I stopped the bus and asked the passengers to alight and run into the bush. The passenger fled into the forest,” he said.
Lamu County Commissioner Samson Macharia said only two passengers are unaccounted for.