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.