, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22 – Tension remains high in Turkana following a cattle rustling incident on Thursday morning where an Administration Police officer was shot dead by armed rustlers.
Five other AP officers were shot and wounded during the raid that occurred at Lokorio area in Turkana East district, according to police.
Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe confirmed the incident and said the wounded officers were admitted to the Turkana district hospital.
“One officer was killed, the rustlers were being pursued by the regular police and APs but during an exchange of fire, and we lost one officer. Five others were injured but they are in a stable condition,” Mr Kiraithe said.
He said the slain officer was a Corporal.
“They were ambushed as they pursued the raiders; they were in a police patrol vehicle,” Mr Kiraithe said.
When reached for comment, Rift Valley Provincial Police chief Francis Munyambu declined to comment about the casualties, but said a combined team of officers from both the regular and Administration Police were pursuing the rustlers who raided remote villages in Lokorio at dawn.
“There was an incident, we have sent our forces there and everything is being done to get the stolen cattle back. That’s all we can say at this moment,” he said on telephone.
“We will give you those other details of casualties later, we do not have them yet,” he said.
Mr Munyambu said security forces deployed to search for the cattle rustlers had not been able to make contact with them but expressed optimism that they would be found.
“We have sent enough forces there, we are hoping for the best although there are challenges here and there,” he said.
The cattle rustlers were being pursued in Pokot district and other neighbouring areas where they are believed to have escaped to.
It is understood that the officers were ambushed as they approached the herd of cattle which were being driven away by heavily armed men.
“That is when they opened fire, killing one of the officers,” another officer said.
Cases of cattle rustling are common in Turkana and other neighbouring districts.