MOMBASA, Kenya, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Somali militants, Al- Shabaab members on Friday beheaded a Kenyan driver who was kidnapped at Kiunga, along the border with Somalia in the coastal town of Lamu.
The body of George Mwita was discovered during rescue operation carried out by Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers and police within the vast Boni forest where the militants were hiding.
Lamu County Commissioner Njenga Miiri confirmed that the attackers tied his hands before slitting his throat. He said the Thursday operation had been delayed by heavy rainfall and terrains in the area.
"It's unfortunate that our personnel were unable to rescue him. But we are still hunting them down," Miiri said.
The police said the deceased's three colleagues, all Muslims, were released unhurt on Wednesday.
"Mwita's body was discovered during a joint military and police officers operation deployed the hunt down of the gunmen," Miiri said.
The government administrator said the heavily armed attackers numbering more than 20 managed to escape to Somalia.
The four had driven to Somalia through the Kiunga border and dropped several kilogrammes of miraa and were driving back to Garissa in northern Kenya when they were ambushed.
The gunmen took away two vehicles that were used to deliver consignment of Miraa from Garrissa to Ras Kiamboni area in Lamu East.
Detectives said one of the drivers released identified as Amuar Abdi said attackers were all Somalis and were in military jungle uniforms.
According to intelligence reports, several gunmen have been killed in the ongoing operation after the KDF soldiers bombed several training camps in the forest to flush out the militants.
Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo on Wednesday extended the dusk-to-dawn curfew in Lamu, which was to end on Aug. 21, by a month.
Boni area and other adjoining forests were declared prohibited areas while all public transport plying the Lamu-Garsen road to move only under police escort during the day.
Kimaiyo added that since the curfew was imposed in July the county has experienced a reduction of incidents of insecurity, saying that life as well as economic and social activities are gradually returning to normal.