A massive crackdown on more Al-Shabaab militants in Boni Forest and its environs has been intensified following the killing of five terrorists on Monday.
Other terrorists escaped with injuries, security agents said.
The Kenya Defence Forces at Bodhei, on the border of Lamu and Garissa Counties, recovered six AK-47 assault rifles, 321 bullets, three grenades and explosives after the military operation on Monday.
Speaking to the Nation in Lamu early Tuesday morning, Operation Linda Boni Director Joseph Kanyiri said they would not relent in the war on Al-Shabaab in Boni Forest.
Mr Kanyiri said Bodhei and surrounding areas were under heavy security presence and soldiers launched a manhunt for the terrorists who escaped.
He urged residents to volunteer information on the militants so they can eliminate them.
“We have upped our game. We have been and we will continue taking the terrorists out in big numbers. They are in flight mode. Our gallant soldiers have the resolve to defend every inch of Kenyan soil. As we speak, the militants are on the run but Bodhei area and the general Boni Forest is saturated with our soldiers. It’s hot for the enemy to want to stay for an extra fraction of a second,” said Mr Kanyiri.
The operation director said the crackdown will continue until all criminals are neutralised.
“We have been able to destabilise and de-operationalise the Al-Shabaab in Boni Forest and that’s why even their presence and the number of attacks in Lamu have been reduced to the bare minimum,” he said.
“We have also been able to discover and destroy a number of both Al-Shabaab abandoned and active camps deep inside the Boni Forest. We will continue with the same spirit.
Meanwhile, some leaders from Lamu County have praised the soldiers for killing the five militants.
Lamu County Woman Representative Ruweida Obbo told the Nation on Tuesday that she was happy the soldiers are flushing out Al-Shabaab militants in Boni Forest.
She urged security agencies conducting the Operation Linda Boni to walk into the forest to pursue the Al-Shabaab instead of patrolling the roads using vehicles and choppers.
The lawmaker asked the national government to clear bushes along the Mpeketoni-Mokowe and Hindi-Kiunga roads to reduce the hiding places for militants who attack road users.
“We are confident with the Linda Boni Operation. At least we are happy to see the product of the operation…As county leaders, we will continue supporting the government in ensuring Lamu and the nation at large is secured,” Ms Obbo said.
At the same time, locals who were losing hope on the war on terror in Lamu said they were happy the militants were killed.