A KDF soldier in Somalia

A Kenya Defence Forces soldier had told a Mombasa court how he and his comrades were attacked when a group of about 10 Al-Shabaab militants ambushed them in Kiunga in Lamu County two years ago.

Seargent Andrew Nzomo said the attack happened after they left the Manda military base, where they had gone to collect food for the Kenyan troops at the Ras Kamboni military camp in Somalia, Nation reports.

“We proceeded along the 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.

He added that he and seven other soldiers 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.

Mr Nzomo said that at around 11pm, he saw the light of a 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.

He was testifying on Wednesday in a case in which a terror suspect, Mudhar Said Jumaa, is charged with robbery with violence and involvement in terrorism activities.

The soldier added that they approached the suspects’ vehicle from behind and ordered the occupants to disembark and inquired why they did not respond despite being flagged down.

Mr Jumaa and his three accomplices responded that they had not seen the light from the torch signalling them to stop.

Mr Nzomo said that after ordering them to show their identification documents, two of them responded positively but Mr Jumaa said he had left his in the vehicle.

“[Mr Jumaa] went back to the vehicle saying he was going to get his ID card. When I followed him, I realised he was signalling to someone who was in the passenger seat,” Mr Nzomo said.

He said immediately after the suspect alighted from the vehicle for the second time, he shot the other two officers, killing them instantly.

“I took 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 [Mr Jumaa], 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 had a round hat, wore a dark-blue short, [had] a bald head and [a heavily built] body with an overgrown beard.

“I could identify him because he talked to us while in front of the vehicle, which had enough light,” he said.

The hearing of the case continues on November 25.

Additional Reporting by nation.co.ke