A man was shot dead and 60 cattle stolen by rustlers at the Ng'enda Lel village on the Trans Mara West and Kuria East district border on Sunday night.
Joel Maritim was grazing the animals when he was ambushed by the rustlers. Anti Stock Theft Unit officers pursued the bandits and recovered 33 cattle.
Trans-Mara station ASTU commandant Emmanuel Opuro told journalists that more than 200 cattle rustlers surrounded their camp as some drove away the animals.
The Oldonyorok Farmers Association Chairman Julius Cheruiyot said the officers were at one point overpowered by the heavily-armed cattle rustlers and almost surrendered but received support from the locals.
Police boss Johnston Ipara said APs, regular police, the GSU and ASTU officers have launched an operation to recover the stolen cattle and appealed to members of the public to be patient.
"During a shoot-out between the police and the cattle rustlers, two of the cows were killed as the cattle rustlers managed to escape with the rest to Wangirabose in Kuria East where we are pursuing them," said Ipara.
Trans-Mara West DC Abdihakim Jubat appealed to members of the Kipsigis and Kuria communities not to carry out revenge attacks but report the criminals to the police.