MISLEADING: Image of Damaged Land Cruiser Is From 2019, NOT the Recent Terrorist Attack in Lamu

This tweet was posted on August 2, 2023, a day after a terrorist attack in Lamu. Shared under #WhereAreTheAPCs it contains a photo of a damaged Land Cruiser. The tweet claims that despite the Kenyan government acquiring 118 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) in 2021, it commissioned Land Cruisers for the Kenya Police and the Kenya Army to use in fighting the Al-Shabaab, one of which is pictured. Another post is then shared with photos of APCs used by the Kenya Police and the Kenya Army, questioning the use of  Land Cruisers when fighting terrorism in hostile environments.


On August 1, 2023, suspected Al-Shabaab militants attacked travelers at the Lamu-Tana River road. During this attack, two people were killed and ten others injured. Interior Cabinet Secretary, Kithure Kindiki confirmed that the 60 attackers were neutralized in an operation that ended on August 2, 2023 morning. 


In 2021, Kenya purchased 118 APCs from Katmerciler, a Turkish defense and automotive manufacturing company. This deal cost the government  $69 million. In January 2021, Kenya Defense Forces spokesperson; Colonel Zipporah Kioko told The Star that the acquisition deal was at its advanced stage.  In a press release, Furkan Katmerci, the company’s chairperson, said this deal was the company’s highest export in a single item. He further added that delivery of these APCs will be completed in 2023. 

Reverse image searches show that the APCs in the second tweet were acquired by the government in 2016. During the launch, former President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned 30 APCs to the General Service Unit headquarters in Ruaraka. This happened five years before the purchase of 118 APCs from Katmerciler.

The tweet showing a damaged Land Cruiser is not related to the recent terrorist attack in Lamu. This reverse image search reveals that this vehicle was part of an attack in Garissa County, in 2019. According to a report by Nation, at least 10 GSU officers were killed after their vehicle ran over an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). 


This Land Cruiser was not damaged during the recent terrorist attack in Lamu.

This fact check was published by Piga Firimbi with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck and African Fact-Checking Alliance.

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