LAMU, Kenya, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan soldiers on Wednesday killed three Al-Shabaab terrorists during a security operation in the vast Boni forest in the coastal Lamu region.
Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman David Obonyo said the troops who were on a routine patrol along Sarira-Kolbio route encountered the militants following a blast that had been heard early Wednesday.
Obonyo said in a statement that they found the body of a Al-Shabaab member following a suspected premature explosion of improvised explosive device the fighter was trying to place on the road used by the troops.
He said the soldiers were later ambushed by another group of Al-Shabaab militants as they continued with the patrol to clear the area.
"During the engagement, three Al-Shabaab terrorist were killed as others fled into the forest with injuries. The troops recovered three AK rifles, Qty 236 rounds of ammunition, bomb-making materials and personal items," Obonyo said.
He said there were no casualties on the KDF side and appealed for any information on any individuals seeking medical assistance in the area.
The police and intelligence officials said the terrorists who are fleeing increased airstrikes in southern Somalia are trooping to Lakta belt near Boni Forest in Kenya's Lamu with an aim of attacking locals.
Security officials said Al-Shabaab have changed tactics and resorted to using IEDs to carry out attacks in coastal and northeast regions. The have been using Boni forest as their hideout and also launch attacks in the region.
The police said the explosive devices strategically planted along the roads near Kenya-Somalia border are slowing down security operations to flush out militants hiding in the vast Boni forest, which is near the Somali border.