•Police said they were patrolling in Duma Yamicha area when they clashed with some riders who were leading a vehicle carrying the aliens.
•Two AK47 rifles with five live bullets, one empty magazine, 16 spent cartridges, one military poaches, a mobile phone and a motorcycle were recovered
Two suspected human smugglers were shot and killed in a clash with police in a village in Isiolo County in the war on human smuggling cartels.
Police said the suspects were escorting about 70 Ethiopians towards Nairobi when they clashed on Wednesday, November 9 afternoon.
It is the latest and new form of defiance on the side of the smugglers who are increasingly becoming bold in their business.
The route from Moyale-Marsabit to Isiolo is usually used in human smuggling and drug trafficking amid efforts by authorities to tame the trend.
Most of the victims are running away from Ethiopia and Eritrea to Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and the Middle East for jobs.
Police said they were patrolling in Duma Yamicha area when they clashed with some riders who were leading a vehicle carrying the aliens.
Two of the men were fatally shot and two AK47 rifles with five live bullets, one empty magazine, 16 spent cartridges, one military poaches, a mobile phone and a motorcycle were recovered at the scene.
Police said they also arrested 70 Ethiopians who were being smuggled.
The smugglers and drug traffickers have resorted to use the cutline route in the bush in order to avoid the Isiolo-Moyale highway which is manned by multi-sectoral agencies that include police from Anti-Narcotics Unit and sometimes the army.
The smugglers bring the aliens into the country while others deal in a bhang variety called shashamane using the cutline route running from the border town of Moyale to Isiolo's Merti area.
Police say from Merti, the cartels engage the services of local youth who escort the aliens and the contraband past roadblocks on foot and motorbikes.
The smuggled are ferried to Nairobi either via Isiolo town or Maua in Meru County.
Isiolo County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding said the slain men refused to heed police orders to surrender and instead shot at the officers damaging their vehicle. This prompted the fatal shooting.
He added they have intensified operations in the area to ensure the routes the smugglers use in their businesses are sealed.
The official added they suspect there is a cartel of human smuggling that has lured local youth to do for them 'dirty work ' at a fee to avoid police traps.
“We are ready for them and warn those behind the trend their days are numbered,” he said.
The route is commonly used for such businesses as police have been seizing dozens of illegal immigrants and narcotics in operations.Ends