Kenyan police have launched a manhunt after an Italian student volunteer was kidnapped and five children in a suspected Al-Shabaab night attack on a shopping centre at Chakama in Kilifi County last night.
The attack was confirmed by the Kenya Police who revealed the injured had been ferried to Malindi Sub-county hospital.
A statement relased by the police reads: “The National Police Service wishes to inform the public that last evening at about 8pm, a gang of men armed with AK 47 rifles attacked Chakama Trading centre, about 80 kilometres west of Malindi town.”
The kidnapped Italian woman has been named as 23-year-old Silvia Costanza Romano, a volunteer for Africa Milele Onlus, an NGO operating in the area.
The gunmen, whom police described as “bandits”, raided the market in Makongeni Sub Location, about 80 kilometres west of Malindi town, at around 8pm on Tuesday (20 November).
Police said: “Neither the reasons for the attack nor the identity of the attackers have been established, but Galana Kulalu is close to Tana River where Al-Shabaab elements have been reported.
According to the Daily Nation, local residents claimed “80 heavily armed men” attacked the village and started shooting in the air before kidnapping the young Italian lady.
Other reports claim she was abducted after five men attacked the site and demanded money.
Those injured were identified by the police of Kenya through their Twitter account:
On Twitter officials released an update with the names of the injured and their conditions:
- Samini Garama Dadu, 23, was shot on the left side of the neck and is in serious condition.
- Ibrahim Said, 16, was shot on the left knee and his condition is stable.
- Elias Mwaringa Kathua, 12, was shot on the left thigh, his condition is stable.
- Mohamed Kalume Konde, 10, was shot on the left eye, his condition stable.
- Mang Katana Jeffa, 20, was shot on the right thigh, his condition stable.
The injured were taken to Malindi Sub County Hospital and on Wednesday morning.