, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 4 – Six people among them three police officers were shot dead and ten others seriously wounded in a cattle-rustling raid in Isiolo late on Wednesday, police said.
The three officers killed were among a team of security agencies who had responded to a distress call raised by villagers when they were engaged in a shoot-out.
“There was heavy gunfire, the bandits appear to have been heavily armed because they overpowered the local police,” a senior police officer said.
“They (bandits) even robbed them of their guns and fled towards Samburu East district,” he added.
The police officers are reported to have been ambushed as they pursued the raiders who were fleeing with more than 500 head of cattle.
The other three deceased were home guards who had accompanied the police officers.
“Their guns were also stolen by the raiders,” our source said.
Area District Commissioner Kimani Waweru said those wounded were admitted to the Isiolo district hospital in a “fair but stable condition.”
Deputy Police Spokesman Charles Wahong’o declined to comment on the matter.
“I will contact officers on the ground before I come back to you,” he said and failed to answer his mobile phone thereafter.
Area Member of Parliament who is also the Livestock Development Minister Mohammed Kuti described the incident as ‘unfortunate’.
“It is so unfortunate and absurd for us to continue to lose people every other time yet we have law enforcement agencies,” he said.
“I am aware that six people including three police officers were shot dead in my constituency and I am even planning a trip there to condole the bereaved and hold security meetings with the locals,” he said.
Mr Kuti blamed the attacks on bandits from the neighbouring Samburu East district.
“It is time the police launched serious security patrols to flush out the bandits. They keep stealing animals from our people,” he said.
“Every time they raid our people, they are usually armed with very sophisticated weapons and they are even able to defeat the police. A permanent solution must be found,” he said.
Cattle-rustling incidents are common in Northern, Eastern and parts of Rift Valley provinces where an estimated 10 people are killed weekly in attacks, according to statistics available at police headquarters.