What you need to know:
- Turkana County Commissioner Jacob Ouma said they were at war throughout the night
- Bandits have since Monday night unleashed terror on motorists on the Kitale-Lodwar road, as well as residents of Kainuk town and surrounding villages in Turkana South sub-county
- They shot dead a 70-year-old woman on Tuesday afternoon
- Knut has called on the Ministry of Interior to provide adequate security to all schools along the border of Turkana and West Pokot counties
A bandit and a child were shot dead at Kalemngorok Centre in Turkana South sub-county when two different groups of bandits launched night twin attacks on Aburur and Ekoropus kraals, driving away livestock.
The incident happened a day after the killing of a 70-year-old woman who was shot dead on Tuesday afternoon by unruly bandits suspected to be from neighboring West Pokot County.
It also followed two incidents of highway bandit attacks on Monday night and early Tuesday morning. Bandits have since Monday night unleashed terror on motorists on the Kitale-Lodwar road, as well as residents of Kainuk town and surrounding villages in Turkana South sub-county.
In the latest attack, residents said there was a fierce exchange of gunfire throughout the night from 1am between police reservists and the bandits during the attacks before police reinforcements arrived and repulsed the bandits. They also recovered livestock that was being driven towards the Kaelongol kraals within South Turkana National Reserve that is inhabited by bandits from a neighbouring county.
Bandit's gun missing
The child died on the spot at Ekoropus Kraal, while the body of a bandit was found on the battlefield with his gun missing.
Mr James Kisike, a resident, said that while they were taking the three injured people to Kalemngorok dispensary, the woman whose child had been shot dead wanted her daughter to be also taken to the hospital.
"We also took the child alongside the three people (two females and a male) to our local health facility where she was pronounced dead," Mr Kisike said.
He narrated that highway bandit attacks along Kapenguria-Lodwar road towards early Tuesday morning and impending attacks on various villages inhabited by Turkana locals resulted in mounting tension towards the evening and late into the night.
Mr Kisike said that at around 1.30am on Wednesday, they were awakened by sounds of gunshots from heavily armed bandits who had first attacked Aburur kraal near Kalemngorok Secondary School.
"When we thought that the attack had stopped, there was another one on Ekoropus kraal at around 5am. That is where we established later that a woman and child had been shot and wounded. We took them to our local health facility," he said.
Turkana County Commissioner Jacob Ouma, who is in Turkana South sub-county to assess the security situation said he would engage the media later after confirming everything. “We have been at war throughout the night,” he said.
On Tuesday, Atoot Nakalia from Nadapal village was shot by bandits at 1pm when she was going to fetch water at River Malimalite.
Mr Ouma said the incident had caused tension, with learning activities interrupted at NaregaeKamar Primary School in Kainuk/Lobokat Ward after rumours of residents spotting armed bandits in the area.
"It has been confirmed that indeed learners had reported early in the morning at the school but rumours of Pokot bandits being near the school forced the management to temporarily turn away pupils out of fear of attack," he said.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Turkana Branch Chairman Kenyaman Eriong'oa called on the Ministry of Interior to provide adequate security to all schools along the border of Turkana and West Pokot counties to assure learners and teachers of their safety.
"Without adequate security, there is no need for teachers and learners at border schools to prepare for end-term examinations. The management of the schools should just close their institutions until security is stabilised," Mr Eriong'oa said.