A Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldier has narrated to a Mombasa court how they were attacked when a group of about 10 Al-Shabaab militants ambushed them in Kiunga in Lamu County two years ago.
Sargent Andrew Nzomo said the attack happened after they left the Manda military base where they had gone to collect food for the Kenyan troops in the Ras Kamboni military camp in Somalia.
“We proceeded along Hindi-Kiunga road and about 50 kilometres from Hindi, our lorry got stuck in the mud due to heavy rains,” he told Principal Magistrate Francis Kyambia on Wednesday.
Sgt Nzomo, who was accompanied by seven other soldiers, said they tried to pull their lorry out of the mud but their efforts were futile.
“At about 5pm, we decided to prepare supper. We had, however, informed our colleagues what had transpired,” he said.
ROBBERY WITH VIOLENCE
Mr Nzomo was testifying in a case in which a terror suspect, Mudhar Said Jumaa, is charged with robbery with violence and involvement in terrorism activities.
The suspect denied robbing Private Vincent Kibenzi and Corporal George Makhulo, who were killed during the terrorist attack, two loaded G3 rifles.
He also denied involvement in terrorism activities. He is accused of being member of Al-Shabaab.
The suspect is accused of committing the offence, jointly with others not before court, on May 25, 2014 at Mlimani along the Hindi-Kiunga road.
The soldier said at a round 11pm, he saw the light of moving vehicle approaching from the Hindi direction, about 50 metres away from where they had stopped.
“I tried to stop it by flashing my torch as it neared us but it failed to stop. While trying to pass, it got stuck in the mud beside our lorry,” he said.
ORDERED TO DISEMBARK
The soldier said they approached the suspects’ vehicle from behind and ordered the occupants to disembark and inquired why they did not respond despite the officers flagging them down.
The suspect (Mr Mudhar) and his three accomplices responded that they had not seen the light from the torch signalling them to stop.
He said after ordering them to show their identification documents, two of them positively responded but Mudhar said he had left his in the vehicle.
“Mudhar went back to the vehicle saying he was going to get his ID card. When I followed him, I realised he was signalling someone who was in the passenger seat,” Sgt Nzomo said.
He said immediately after the suspect disembarked for the second time, he shot the other two officers, killing them instantly.
“I took a cover beneath the lorry. The fierce battle continued for more than two hours. With the help of the light from the moon and that coming from the lorry, I could clearly see Mudhar, who was dressed in a white vest,” he told the court.
When asked by State Counsel Daniel Wamotsa how he identified the suspect, he said he could vividly recall his physical appearance.
“He had a round hat, wore a dark-blue short, [had] a bald head and [heavily built] body with overgrown beard.
“I could identify him because he talked to us while in front of the vehicle which had enough light,” he said.
The witness also said he was able to identify Mudhar since he was the driver of the terrorists’ vehicle and was the first to start shooting.
The hearing of the case continues on November 25, 2016.