Three shooters have been slain in connection with the deaths of three police officers in the Laikipia Nature Conservancy.
Their assassination weapons were sent to the residence of their spiritual leader in the region hours after they were killed in an ambush.
The fact that the shooters surrendered their guns suggested that they were slain and buried in a bush, according to police.
A source aware of the incident said seven other gunmen were injured and are being trailed.
“The weapons used in the killing of the officers on October 27 were surrendered to the elder and later to the police. The killers also died,” an officer aware of the operation said.
The ambush happened as Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle the offices were travelling in drove through a thicket overlooking a gorge where the gunmen were hiding.
There were 15 cops in the van at the time of the attack. According to authorities, the driver of the car panicked and lost control, causing it to flip. The occupants stepped out of the car, believing it was safe, but were shot by a shooter who had fled the area. According to a survivor, the other cops were saved by reinforcements who came minutes later and fought the shooters who were hiding in the canyons.
Noor Gabow, Deputy Inspector General of Administration Police, paid a visit to the volatile region.
At least six others were injured in the incident within Laikipia Nature Conservancy. Gabow met with the teams on the ground and encouraged them to continue with the operation terming the ambush a hazard.
Police spokesman Bruno Shioso said the conservancy remains an active multi-agency operation zone and urged the public to remain calm. He said the multi-agency operations will continue.
Shioso asked the remaining illegal herders to leave. The government has been ordering the herders in the private ranches to leave but some have defied the orders. An operation was mounted in the area following repeated attacks on residents and security agencies by gunmen believed to be herders. More than 10 security personnel have been killed in the five months standoff.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i led a high delegation to oversee ongoing operations in the area against armed men.
Matiang’i commissioned the construction of new subcounty headquarters to enhance operations.
Chief of Defence Forces Robert Kibochi visited the troubled areas and assured residents of their security. As part of efforts to restore order, Matiang’i announced the creation of a police division at Ol Moran with enough officers to patrol.
Ol-Moran was gazetted as the headquarter for Kirima subcounty. He said two additional police stations will be established in the flashpoint zones. There will be additional National Police Reservists deployed and recruited in the areas.
Further, a training base for elite police units will be established in the area to enhance police presence and serve as a buffer zone between Laikipia residents and invaders from neighbouring counties.
The CS said surveyors will be deployed to Laikipia to expedite the titling process and review and recommend action on lapsed leases or those about to lapse.
He said the operation will involve a multi-agency team, all responses will be coordinated and address the real drivers of conflict, beyond the fight for pasture and water.