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Eight police officers gunned down by Pokot cattle rustlers

A stand-by photo of an armed herder.

Eight police officers were confirmed killed by cattle rustlers. The incident took place at Namariat near Kakitetei, in Turkana East.

The police said the other three casualties, who succumbed to the banditry attack, were two civilians and a local chief. In total, those confirmed dead by police spokesperson Bruno Sioso were eleven, 11. The incident, which took place on Saturday, came almost at the same time when Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua was also attending a funeral service in Keiyo Valley and had issued a stern warning to cattle rustlers in the region.

Speaking on the incident, Mr. Shioso described the attack as cowardly and said that the bandits had come from the neighboring Pokot county. “Our police officers were in hot pursuit of Pokot bandits who had raided a village in Turkana East and made away with livestock. A local chief, two (2) members of the public, and eight (8) police officers succumbed to the injuries,” Shioso said in a statement on Saturday.

The perennial attacks and counter-attacks between the neighboring communities of Turkan, Keyio Valley, and Pokot counties have posed serious security concerns for so long time that it has also affected the lifestyles of the residents.

Additional police officers have meanwhile been dispatched to augment the security details that are already on the ground, as they pursue the bandits who are still at large.

“NPS reassures the public that all necessary measures shall be taken to restore security and safety in the region,” the police spokesperson added.

This comes even as the police still reiterate that a number of steps have been made towards addressing the insecurity menace in the region. In September, the government imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in parts of Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, and West Pokot counties for 30 days to evert further skirmishes during the country’s general election that was coming then.

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