SAMBURU, Kenya, Sept 15 – Security personnel have shot dead nine suspected cattle rustlers who raided a manyatta in Samburu East killing over 30 people on Tuesday morning.
Laikipia North District Commissioner Amos Mariba told Capital News that a joint security operation involving the General Service Unit (GSU), Anti- Stock theft and regular police officers were pursuing the raiders who struck the remote Kenani village at 6am.
He said the nine suspects were shot dead after they engaged security forces in a shootout.
Mr Mariba said they also received security reinforcements from neighbouring districts to comb the area for the raiders estimated at 200 and who are said to have stolen over 10,000 livestock.
Rify Valley Provincial Commissioner (PC) Osman Warfa and the Provincial Police boss Francis Munyambu were in the area leading the operation.
Earlier, area Member of Parliament Raphael Letimalo said some bodies were still lying in open fields and in the villages.
“There was a raid and 18 bodies of those killed are still lying there. They are in the manyattas (houses) in my constituency. They have not been taken to the mortuary,” he said on telephone.
“There is high tension because people in the area are worried. They fear for their security because the raiders are known people from the neighbouring community,” he added.
“They came to steal the animals and in the process clashed with the herders who tried to block their mission. They fought and they killed people. We are demanding security from the government because the situation is terrible if it continues like that,” he said and blamed the government for failing to provide security.
Rift Valley Provincial Police chief Francis Munyambu said: “There was an incident in Samburu and there were fatalities and some casualties. We are yet to ascertain the exact number but we understand there are four people who died while undergoing treatment in hospital.”
“We have not established the number of those who died on the spot but I have dispatched a team there to establish more,” he said.
“Already, we have enhanced security there. There is a team of police officers on the ground patrolling and others are pursuing the raiders and the stolen herds of cattle.”
The area legislator on his part said: “The situation is serious because the police have not even been able to collect bodies of the 18 people lying in the fields and in the villages.”