Two people believed to be police officers were killed by a mob, under unclear circumstances, at a market in Tharaka-Nithi County on Saturday evening.
The two were not in uniform at the time of the incident at Kanthanje market in Igambang'ombe, so their identity is yet to be confirmed, Igambang'ombe Deputy County Commissioner Julius arap Too said.
Reports indicated that the two went to an M-Pesa shop at the market, where a commotion ensued with an attendant identified by residents as Murithi Njeru. A distress call by Mr Njeru attracted the mob that then beat the two to death.
Mr Arap Too said Mr Njeru sustained head injuries suspected to have been inflicted by a sharp object.
"I can confirm that two people, reportedly police officers attached to Kathwana police station, have been killed by a mob at Kanthanje market. We are yet to confirm their identity. I have personally taken an injured civilian to St Orsola Hospital, Materi," Mr Arap too said.
Mr Njeru was the civilian he was referring to.
Igambang'ombe Sub-County Police Commander Charles Muchiri said they were unable to immediately establish what transpired before the two people died at the scene, following the attack.
"We have launched investigations into the incident but we are not able to immediately tell what happened because we found a deserted market with the two bodies on the ground,'' said Mr Muchiri.
An eye witness, who spoke to the Nation on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said the two men arrived on a motorcycle, entered the shop and then engaged in a confrontation with Mr Njeru.
He shouted for help, saying he was being attacked by thieves, prompting the mob to rush there and take action.
"The deceased, who were later identified by some locals as police officers, were not in uniform and only had handcuffs," the witness said.
The incident comes barely a week after an officer attached to Mukothima police post in Tharaka North Sub-County reportedly shot and injured a bar operator at Mukothima market following a confrontation. The victim was taken to a hospital in the neighbouring Meru County.
Three weeks ago, Tharaka-Nithi County Bodaboda Operators' Association Chairman Willis Mugambi was shot dead, reportedly by a police officer, during three days of demonstrations in Chuka town, over the killing of a civilian.
It was also in Igambang'ombe - Kamaindi location - where a chief and the Chuka police station commander were hacked to death in June 2020.
The court case is yet to be concluded.