5 February 2013

Kenya: Bandits Kill Three Policemen in East Pokot

Photo: D. Nthengwe
One person has been killed and hundreds displaced by bandits in Baringo county (file photo).

Three police officers are among the seven people killed by armed bandits in East Pokot yesterday. The heavily armed bandits had attacked Loyamorok village where they were confronted by the officers leading to a gun fight.

The three officers, three of the bandits and one villager were killed in the crossfire. Baringo county commissioner Benard Leparamarai said the bandits, who stole hundreds of goats, injured two other people including a police officer.

"We will have to bring them to book because this is unacceptable," said Leparamarai. Another group of cattle rustlers raided Kositei and Sidilo. More security officers, including GSU personnel, were yesterday deployed in the area to hunt down the bandits.

There have been counter attacks between the Pokot and Tugen communities living in the area. Hundreds of people were displaced three weeks ago when cattle rustlers attacked villages in Marigat, Baringo.

Leparamarai said the more than 300 bandits who were armed with AK 47 guns escaped towards East Pokot with the stolen animals. He said the government deployed close to 100 officers and police reservists to repulse the cattle rustlers.

They were however overwhelmed in the shoot out. Hundreds of residents were yesterday fleeing the area. The residents said four people went missing after the incident.

"We have cried out to the government to deal with the insecurity problem in this area but it seems not to have taken the issue seriously," said Baringo human rights activist Harun ole Mpaka.

Mpaka asked the government should put proper measures in place to disarm the cattle rustlers who are operating in Pokot, saying banditry has affected the livelihoods of most residents.

Yesterday, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo ordered senior officers from the Rift Valley provincial headquarters in Nakuru to visit the area and coordinate security activities. Leparamarai said they will hold a security meeting to help quell tension between the two communities.

Copyright © 2013 The Star. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.