Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.
This was the situation a farmer - identified only as Hashim, from Pandanguo Village in Lamu County, found himself in on Saturday night, January 19, when he came face to face with 50 heavily armed suspected Al-Shabaab militants.
According to the testimony of a village elder identified as Adan Golja shared by the Sunday Nation, Hashim was in the hands of the suspected terrorists for an agonising 20 or so minutes.
"The heavily armed men interrogated him for more than 20 minutes, asking him about the security status in our area, including how many police and military camps are there. He told them the place is well-protected, having both GSU and KDF soldiers," Golja narrated.
The farmer's sharp response and confident delivery seemed to have had his desired effect as the armed militants then told him that they were not going to engage in war.
Instead, they asked him to let them harvest maize from his one-acre farm as they were in need of foodstuff.
Confident that he was not a threat they ordered him to head back to his village as they set about harvesting his crops.
Hashim hurriedly made his way to Golja and they then reported the matter to police reservists in the area who responded swiftly and trooped into the farm where a fierce gun battle ensued.
GSU and KDF officers patrolling the area were also alerted to the incident and quickly made their way to Hashim's farm and reinforced the reservists.
Together, they forced the militants into a retreat, with village elder Golja revealing that after a 5-hour gunfight, the 50 suspects disappeared into Boni Forest with bags of Hashim's maize.
"A serious gunfight between the KDF, GSU, and NPR against the militants went on from 10.30 p.m. until 3 a.m. when the militants were repulsed. They had however managed to harvest almost all the maize in the one-acre farm before they fled deep into the dense Boni Forest," Golja narrated.
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia announced that the situation had been contained but urged the local residents to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities.
Back on July 11, 2014, over 300 suspected Al-Shabaab militants attacked the same village and made away with 6 guns belonging to area police reservists.
The heavily armed attackers invaded the village at around 8:30 p.m. and set ablaze Panda-Nguo Primary School, before raiding Panda-Nguo Health Center and stole medical supplies.
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