Al-Shabaab terrorists who carjacked and injured Public Works Principal Secretary Mariam El Maawy at Milihoi in Lamu before she was rescued by the military had also stopped another vehicle, which they released with its occupants, the Nation has established.
The “heavily armed militants” appeared from the bushes and stopped the PS’s car, a Toyota Prado, and minutes after flagged down a truck and a saloon car – a Toyota Probox – at Milihoi, that were also moving to Mpeketoni in Lamu County.
The man who was driving the PS’s vehicle, identified as Godana Borani, was killed in the attack.
Ms Maawy was on Friday recovering at Nairobi Hospital where she was flown on Thursday night for treatment.
An Administration Police bodyguard Ayub Ole Ndoloni and her nephew Arid Kassim Athman were also in the car.
However, the body of the 21-year old Athman, a trainee pilot, was found on Friday and later buried at the Mokowe cemetery in Lamu West.
In total, five people including Ms Maawy’s driver and security aide perished in the attack.
Athman’s burnt remains were identified at Mpeketoni Hospital where there were two other bodies, one believed to be of Ms Maawy’s security aide.
Two more bodies were found at Magogoni.
The body of the driver was transported to Marsabit for burial while Mr Athman’s family was making efforts to inter him.
According to police, the truck’s turn boy identified as Mr Kalume, was shoved into the PS’ vehicle by the terrorists but later managed to escape.
Mr Edward Karisa, the driver of the truck, was commandeered and forced to drive off with a number of terrorists.
As the two vehicles left the scene – at the boundary of Mokowe and Mpeketoni – the Prado took a detour towards the bushes.
But after about a kilometre, it got stuck in the bushes.
Minutes later, the Prado with the PS, was back on the road.
“KDF officers from Mkunumbi who were on the same road saw a Land Cruiser emerging from the bushes heading towards Mpeketoni at a very high speed.
“As they followed it, it rolled and immediately caught fire. They managed to rescue a lady who was later identified as PS for Public Works,” the police said.
She was rushed to Mpeketoni sub-county hospital.
The report does not indicate at what point the rescuers realised she is a PS.
At the hospital, medics established she had “gunshot injuries in the upper side left of the chest, a fractured hand and severe burns on both legs.”
She was thereafter airlifted to Manda Navy Base hospital and later to Nairobi.
Mr Borani’s body was found in the vehicle.
There was also another body that was burnt beyond recognition believed to have been that of her 21-year old nephew Athman.
As for Mr Ndoloni, police suspect he was taken away as a hostage by the terrorists.
The reports seen by the Nation do not mention the truck driver’s fate and the vehicle’s whereabouts.
The registration number of the Probox was unknown by time of going to press and police are struggling to find it, and its occupants too.
At the same time, Special Forces unit of KDF recovered a police Land Cruiser – GK B759G – that was driven away by Al-Shabaab terrorists in an attack at Pandanguo police camp on July 5.
The special team took the vehicle from Belesange at 4pm on Thursday.
But the squad had to fix the front wheel and the battery before driving it.
The parts were removed from the car by fleeing Shabaab militants.
The vehicle was escorted to Mpeketoni command centre by General Service Unit officers.
The Saturday Nation also learnt that the militia could have been targeting Coast regional coordinator Nelson Marwa’s convoy, which had passed through the Mokowe-Mpeketoni road moments before the PS was attacked.
Questions were also raised why the PS travelled without a security escort in the volatile area where buses heading to and from Lamu to Malindi are usually given police escorts.
Separately, on Friday at 11am, members of the public reported to officers at GSU camp in Pandanguo that they had found a G3 rifle, 6740269.
The gun was spotted in bushes near the police camp that was raided on July 5.
The rifle loaded with five bullets and suspected to belong to the police was recovered by the GSU officers.
Additional Reporting by Samuel Kalume