Gunmen attack police post in Samburu, kill officer

Lerata Police Post

Lerata Police Post in Samburu East where an officer was shot dead by bandits on January 3, 2022.

Photo credit: Geoffrey Ondieki | Nation Media Group

Gunmen on Monday attacked Lerata Police Post in Samburu East, killing a police constable.

The gunmen, suspected to be bandits, and who were armed with G3 riffles, staged the attack on the station which is located on the Wamba-Achers Post road and killed the officer. This brings to two the number of security officers who have been killed by bandits in a span of one week in Samburu County.

Samburu County Commissioner Abdirizack Jaldesa, who confirmed the incident, said police had started a manhunt for the bandits who escaped after the attack.

“Our officer was killed in the station when bandits raided. That is a very unfortunate incident that we condemn bitterly. We have already [started] a manhunt for the criminals who escaped after the incident," Mr Jaldesa said on Monday.

He said that a contingent of security personnel had been deployed to the area, adding the officers who were attacked confirmed that they were shot by three armed bandits.

They reportedly spent over an hour exchanging gunfire with the police.

Bandits thrive

Deadly attacks have raged across the volatile Samburu County where bandits have thrived in the recent past.

Pastoralist communities in the region have for long been terrorised by gun-wielding gangs who raid villages, stealing cattle and killing senselessly.

The Monday incident comes just days after another police officer was shot dead, while the officer in charge of Maralal Police Station was left nursing gunshot wounds following an attack on Christmas Day in Pura market.

The officers were ambushed by bandits when they were on their way to collect a body of a man who had been shot dead.

Samburu County Police Commander Thomas Ngewa said the Maralal Police Station OCS sustained gunshot wounds and had to undergo surgery but he is in stable condition.

“There was a shoot-out that led to the killing of one of our officers," Mr Ngewa said on Christmas Day.

Since the beginning of last year, insecurity has been escalating in various parts of Samburu County. The semi-arid region is now facing unprecedented effects of banditry, with thousands of children and women caught in the crossfire.

The uptick in violence in Samburu is always linked to the proliferation of illegal guns in the hands of civilians, cattle rustling, animosity and disputes on grazing fields.


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