Chaos as 2 KDF, 2 GSU officers are killed in Laikipia ambush

Eight other personnel including seven soldiers were injured in the ambushes

In Summary
  • The gunmen are heavily armed with rifles and ready for confrontation 
  • More personnel and equipment were Thursday moved to the troubled area to help in pursuing the gunmen
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i during a security meeting in Naibor, Laikipia county, on July 28, 2021
Interior CS Fred Matiang'i during a security meeting in Naibor, Laikipia county, on July 28, 2021

There were fears and tension in Laikipia after two Kenya Defence Forces soldiers and two General Service Unit (GSU) were shot dead by armed bandits in Kamwenje area, Laikipia West in the ongoing chaos in the area.

Officials said eight others including seven soldiers were injured in the ambush conducted in the larger Laikipia Nature Conservancy.

This increases the number of security officers shot dead on Wednesday to four. The injured were airlifted to Nairobi for specialized treatment.

The KDF officers were reportedly digging a trench around the conservancy when they were killed by the suspected armed bandits.

The soldiers are part of multi-agency teams operating in the area in efforts to ensure stability and security.

They are helping in constructing trenches and other social amenities to help locals move on with life after days of chaos and insecurity.

The Wednesday attack prompted fears there would be more aggressive operations in the area to get rid of armed gangs operating there.

More than 20 security officers have been killed in the area in the past months in attacks.

The killing of the two soldiers came hours after two GSU personnel were killed in a similar ambush in the area.

Officials believe the gunmen were escaping from the first scene where they had attacked the GSU personnel when they bumped onto the KDF ones prompting the shooting.

The GSU officers were confronted by the bandits a short distance from Kamwenje police base in Laikipia West prompting a fierce shootout.

It is not clear if there were deaths on the side of the bandits. Reinforcement arrived there minutes later and rescued their colleagues who had been trapped and were calling for help.

Police in the area said the attackers were armed with rifles and were ready for a war.

Rift Valley police boss Fredrick Ochieng said they were pursuing the gang behind it.

“We have reinforcements on the ground pursuing the attackers,” he said.

It comes at a time when more personnel have been deployed to the area to flush out armed herders who have invaded private ranches for pasture.

This has prompted fighting between the security agents and the gunmen.

Up to 20 security officers have been killed and 10 others injured in the past five months in the violence in the area.

On October 28, three police officers were killed in the same area in an ambush.

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 locals and security agencies by gunmen believed to be herders.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i led a high delegation to oversee ongoing operation in the area against armed men.


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