(Xinhua) -- Two
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers have been killed in two
separate gunfights with suspected poachers while responding to a
poaching incident in Kipini Conservancy in Tana River County.
poacher was also killed in one of the incidents.
An AK47 rifle, three rifle magazines and 208 rounds of
ammunitions were recovered in the incident.
two are the unit com-manding officer and a ranger belonging to
an anti-poaching unit in the area.
rest escaped unhurt.
first incident occurred when the rangers on a patrol mission in
the area encountered an unknown number of a poaching gang
believed to be on an elephant poaching mission in the dense
rangers came under fierce gun fight which killed the first
ranger forcing the team to retreat.
hours later, in an attempt to recover the body of the slain
ranger, the team of KWS rangers and a reinforcement team
including the Kenya Police, moved into the scene oblivious that
the gang had laid an ambush.
came under a second fierce gun fight which killed the KWS
officer commanding the unit.
was not immediately clear whether the gang members who escaped
were injured in the gun battle.
the bodies of the slain officers were removed to Malindi
bodies will be flown to Nairobi awaiting burial arrangements. A
joint operation by KWS and Kenya Police is underway to pursue
and arrest the poaching gang in the area.
KWS rangers have been killed by poachers since December 2011.
names were unveiled on the Conservation Heroes Monument in
Nairobi by the then Minister for Forestry and Wildlife, Hon Dr
Noah Wekesa, in a ceremony to mark conservation heroes day in