NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan police said Monday they have heightened
security in the vast Boni Forest in the coastal region following
credible intelligence reports that al-Shabab plans to carry out
attacks during the end of holy month of Ramadan.
spokesman Charles Owino said the deployment follows reports of
movements of militants from areas of Somalia close to the border
along Kiunga-Hindu route with the intension of carrying out
"This follows information we have received from local
communities indicating sightings of suspected militia elements
in the dense forests at Kihonge between Witu and Mpeketoni,"
Owino said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The vast Boni forest area along the Kenya Somalia border
extends into Somalia to become Lacta Belt (Boni Forest on the
Somali side) that was infiltrated by al-Shabab operatives.
The militants have been using the vast Boni Forest as their
hideout to launch attacks on the civilians in Lamu.
Owino said security agencies have been able to block and
contain attempts to infiltrate the forest to be used as hideouts
by the extremist group to launch attacks.
"We have also some credible information on the movements of
some militants under the leadership of Maalim Ayman and Mohamed
Bilaal in southern Somalia towards the lactabelt who may be
planning to infiltrate into the country and carry out attacks
against some soft targets within Boni forest in Lamu and its
environs," Owino said.
The al-Shabab have changed tactics and resorted to using
improvised explosive devices to carry out attacks in parts of
Coast region and North Eastern, according to the police.
The militant group is believed to have fighters operating in
the area’s Boni forest that has poor communication network and
terrains slowing down police operations.