Al Shabaab militants have devised a new way of recruiting young girls from poor families in Kilifi County; by marrying them in secret and then taking off with them mysteriously.

Already 10 such cases of girls getting married off to unknown people have been reported in Malindi and eight in Watamu.

The strangers pay some dowry to the girl’s parents and then conduct a secret wedding before taking off with their new brides to unknown destinations leaving families with no information.

Malindi Deputy County Commissioner Daniel Ombongi says they are investigating at least  seven such cases.

Speaking to the Star on phone the DCC said ‘the unknown’ people usually use both local and Islamic names.

Some of them, he said claim to come from Isiolo, Nairobi and Kitui and other areas.

Kilifi County Women Representative Aisha Jumwa and Kilifi North Mp Gideon Mung’aro have cautioned parents to be careful or else they risk losing their children to strangers.

Jumwa said she had received complaints from families who are scared after their children were married off to the strangers.

The Women Rep Called on parents and every member of the public to report such suspicious people to prevent more girls from being lured into terror related gangs.