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Body of El Maawy’s nephew found after Lamu attack

The trainee pilot was with the PS in the car when they were abducted by Al Shabaab leading to an accident in which their car rolled and caught fire/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 14 – The body of a nephew to Labour Principal Secretary Miriam El Maawy has been found following Thursday’s Al Shabaab attack in Lamu.

The trainee pilot was with the PS in her car when they were abducted by Al Shabaab after which the car rolled and caught fire.

A third person in the car believed to be a driver or bodyguard also died during the incident that occurred on the Mpeketoni-Lamu Road.

Five security officers were killed on Thursday in an operation to free the abductees.

El Maawy and her fellow passengers were kidnapped at Milihoi on the Mpeketoni-Lamu road at about 3pm, leading to a major security operation by police and military personnel.

The PS was rescued when the car she was in lost control and rolled while speeding towards the border with Somalia.

It caught fire killing her driver and bodyguard while the PS sustained injuries. She was airlifted to Nairobi on Thursday night after receiving emergency treatment in Lamu having suffered injuries on her legs.

A gunfight broke out between the kidnappers and security forces, during which four police or military personnel were killed along with Maawy’s bodyguard, a senior police officer told AFP.

Kenya Defence Forces spokesman Joseph Awuoth confirmed Maawy had been rescued but gave no further details.

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Police headquarters did not provide details of the five deaths, only saying they were aware of the bodyguard and driver.

Coast Regional Police Chief Larry Kieng said there were casualties in the incident but did not specify the number.

“There are casualties but the PS is safe,” he said.

Another police officer told us that the PS was headed for a security meeting at Jima area where people were beheaded recently as well as hold a development meeting with locals.

Al Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Mogadishu but also carries out regular attacks in neighbouring Kenya, which has troops in Somalia as part of an African Union force.

The group has increased its attacks in recent weeks in Lamu, as Kenya prepares to go to the polls for a presidential election on August 8.

“Some of the attackers have been killed and others have fled,” another senior police officer said.

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