Narrrow escape for Samburu leaders attacked by armed bandits
What you need to know:
- Governor Lelelit was with leaders including Senator Steve Lelegwe, Woman Representative Pauline Lenguris, and Education Chief Administrative Secretary Elly Loldepe.
Samburu Governor Jonathan Lati Lelelit and other leaders from that county on Saturday escaped death narrowly after suspected bandits attacked their security meeting in Nolkera, Samburu West.
More than eight armed bandits ambushed the leaders, forcing the intervention of officers from the General Service Unit (GSU) and local National Police Reservists (NPR).
Reports indicated that the attack, on the meeting led by Samburu’s top leaders and security agents, was attacked at around 3.40pm.
Governor Lelelit was with leaders including Senator Steve Lelegwe, Woman Representative Pauline Lenguris, and Education Chief Administrative Secretary Elly Loldepe.
"We were in the area to open [Pura Primary School], that was closed down as a result of bandit attacks when criminals numbering about eight attacked us. However, we escaped unhurt and are safe," Governor Lelelit told the Nation on phone.
"We want the national government to give us more National Police Reservists to help in fighting banditry in Samburu. The highly hyped security operation is not yielding any fruits. We want Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to know that there is no security operation taking place in Samburu.”
The sound of heavy gunfire interrupted the meeting, with everyone scampering for safety as the bandits approached..
Sources at the meeting told the Nation that the armed bandits were hiding and had surrounded the leaders who were with locals.
Senator Lelegwe said the attackers surrounded them and opened fire and that “gunshots were all over."
"I suspect their intention was to kill us because they had taken cover. It was well planned," he said.
The GSU officers and reservists managed to repulse the attackers after about one hour of a serious fight.
When the Nation contacted Samburu County Commissioner Henry Wafula for a comment on the incident, he said he had not yet been briefed by the security teams.
Mr Wfula called on the public to avoid traveling to or visiting parts of the country that have been classified as disturbed and dangerous.
"The parts of Samburu West that were mapped as dangerous and disturbed should be avoided at all costs. That (Nolkera) is an operation area. It should be avoided. Allow security troops to do their work.”
Security troops in the region have intensified an operation against bandits believed to be hiding in hard-to-reach areas. In the past two weeks, security teams have bombed bandits' hideouts in Kur Kur and Pura valleys in Samburu West, areas believed to be their territories.
More on this: Security forces bomb bandits hideout in Baringo
Meanwhile, Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) troops are still patrolling the vast Loibor-nkare, Longewan and Pura areas to prevent bandit attacks.
The criminals are reportedly employing guerilla tactics to counter military offensives in the region. As a result, military troops are having a nightmare tracing them, as they stage deadly, unexpected attacks.
The bandits are said to have a structured command that sees them execute attacks simultaneously.