Puzzle as armed men storm Iten hospital, secure patient ‘injured by bandits’

Iten County Referral Hospital

The entrance to Iten County Referral Hospital in Elgeyo-Marakwet County where there was a night raid by armed men who escaped with a patient at the facility who had been shot.

Photo credit: Nation Media Group

Police in Iten are investigating a night raid at Iten County Referral Hospital in which a ‘banditry victim’ escaped with the help of gun-wielding men.

In the Monday 2am incident, the man, who had been shot, escaped with the help of more than 10 men heavily armed with AK-47 riffles, sending tension and panic among other patients and medical workers.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Commissioner John Korir said the victim had sustained a gunshot wound on Wednesday at Kapchemutta in Marakwet West when bandits raided the area, injuring three people.

“This is very scary and we have launched investigations into the incident. We want to establish why the victim escaped from the hospital in such a manner,” said the county commissioner.

He said at around midnight, police officers, acting on a tipoff were alerted over the matter and security officers were promptly deployed to the hospital.

“A team of armed police was deployed and as they were still processing to secure the patient, the armed men stormed the ward and escaped with him. The officers combed the hospital precincts to no avail and the motive of the escape and those who carried it out is under investigation,” he said.

A medical worker at the hospital who sought anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter said there was panic among patients and medics because of the incident, even though no one was injured during the daring escape.

“The men gained access to the hospital after cutting through the wire mesh fence and into the ward where the patient who had been shot in the chest was undergoing treatment. If such raids can be carried out in a hospital, who is safe?” wondered the worker.