Kenya (Xinhua) -- At least six Kenyan police officers
were killed and four others seriously injured on Wednesday after
being ambushed by bandits at Matuiku area in Laikipia county of
A senior police officer who declined
to be identified said the incident happened at a ranch in the
area when police tried to drive away a group of grazers, noting
that two senior police officers were the deceased.
“Six police officers were killed while
four others were seriously injured in ambush by the bandits.
We have rushed the injured to the hospital,” said the
Laikipia area is increasingly becoming
a conflict zone as people and wildlife are killed with impunity,
livestock stolen, houses razed and property looted.
The county, known for large ranches
established in the pre-independence period by Kenya’s white
community, has in recent months been hit by conflict pitting
private ranch owners against Pokot and Samburu herders.
The armed pastoralists from the Pokot,
Maasai and Samburu communities have caused insecurity in the
area, attacking some of the white owned ranchers in Laikipia.
The incident comes after local leaders
called on the police to enforce the law and contain escalating
insecurity in parts of the Rift Valley in northwest Kenya that
could have a serious impact on people’s ability to vote in the
The authorities have responded to
clashes with a heavy deployment of military and police.
Residents said that Kenyan military officers were routinely
shooting livestock that they found on any of the private
Killing livestock harms the
livelihoods of the Pokot ethnic group, and increases
vulnerability and tensions as the election nears.
The herders have been reportedly
forcing themselves into the ranch with their livestock in search
of pasture and burnt down properties.