Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops on Thursday killed 12 suspected Al-Shabaab militants in a raid at their camp inside the vast Boni Forest in Lamu County.
KDF’s special operations team ambushed the terrorists at their Korisa Kotile camp, which has been their hideout for long.
The camp is located at Nginda, between Korisa and Bargoni.
Among those killed was a notorious local commander from the Coast region who had been providing intelligence and logistical support to terrorists hiding in the forest.
Sources told the Nation that a suspect armed with an AK-47 rifle and four magazines was captured.
The KDF soldiers found weapons, including three AK-47 rifles, seven magazines, more than 1,000 bullets, pouches and a water carrier.
The raid comes a week after special forces killed six militants and captured one in Garissa County.
This is a big blow to the extremist group as militants holed up in the forest may starve for lack of food supplies and ammunition.
The camp was the group’s only remaining one in Kenya, which it used to coordinate their activities.
The raid was part of ongoing KDF operations in pursuit of terrorists who took part in a botched attack at Kotile Special Operations Group Camp on March 13.
Since the attack, security teams in the region have intensified operations, tracking the assailants in Lamu West and the lower parts of Tana River.
The operations have significantly degraded Al-Shabaab’s operations.
They have led to the killing of those attempting to conduct small-scale attacks in Kenya and left others terrified.
Reached for comment by the Nation, Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata said: “There has been a continuous operation by the KDF. This is commendable.”
The army has been fighting the terrorists, both locally and across the border under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
As a result of operations in Somalia since 2011, the Al-Qaeda-linked terror group has carried out many attacks in Kenya, targeting both security agents and civilians.
The Coast and North-Eastern regions have borne the brunt of these attacks.
Key among raids by the terrorists are the September 21, 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, the April 2, 2015 killing of 148 students at Garissa University College and the January 5 incident at the Manda Bay army base.
Attacks on quarries, schools and buses in North-Eastern have also raised serious concerns, with many teachers opting to leave the region, precipitating a crisis in the education sector.