8 police officers among 11 people killed in an ambush by cattle rustlers

Eight police officers are among 11 people who were killed last night, Saturday, September 24, by armed gunmen in a cattle-rustling incident in Turkana East, Turkana County.

The other victims included a chief and two villagers.

Police spokesman Bruno Shioso said the victims were pursuing a heavily armed gang that had raided a village and made away with an unknown number of animals when they were ambushed.

“The officers were in hot pursuit of Pokot bandits who had raided a village in Turkana East and made away with livestock,” he said.

Shioso claimed that police had sent out more officers to join the military already stationed there in stepping up security and pursuing the bandits.

Locals reported that some officers who were attacked while driving in a lorry in the Namariat area sustained injuries.

“The National Police Service reassures the public that all necessary measures shall be taken to restore security and safety in the region,” Shioso said.

Thirdway Alliance Party Leader Ekuru Aukot has announced that his sister is among the 11 killed last night.

“Dear President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, I just lost my sister  Mary Kanyaman, a mother to little kids, to Pokot bandits in Napeitom. We have also lost the area chief and 5 other police officers. We will Bury them, but fix the insecurity issue in Turkana East,” tweeted Aukot.

Aukot referred to the banditry in Turkana County as “internal terrorism,” and he urged President William Ruto and his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, to handle it.

“I have said it before, we don’t need our soldiers in Somalia. We need them home to deal with domestic terrorism. I just lost my sister because of domestic terrorism from the Pokot bandits. I hope (Dr. Ruto) and (Mr. Gachagua) will deal with this issue,” he added.

This is the first major attack to happen in the region under the regime of President William Ruto.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua had earlier in the day promised to personally deal with the banditry problem, which has long hindered operations in the Rift Valley.

The DP stated in a statement on Saturday that he will call convene a meeting of regional leaders to determine the best course of action.

“This small work of security is my mandate, it’s not President’s mandate. I will personally call the meeting of Kerio Valley leaders and all security officers and I will be the chairman,” Gachagua said.

He spoke during the funeral service of former Baringo Deputy Governor Charles Kipngok at Solian Girls High School, Eldama Ravine, Baringo.

The DP said the meeting will come soon after a new Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior is appointed and a reshuffle of security chiefs in the area is done.

“We will talk until we reach a consensus. Where we are required to deploy police reservists, we shall deploy them,” he said.

On social media, Kenyans criticized the incident harshly and cried out for the government to do something about the problem.

Insecurity in the region has forced many residents to flee the area while calling on the government to act.

In an effort to stop the trend, the government dispatched reinforcements, impose curfews, and called on residents to surrender their illegal firearms.

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