Officer killed, rifles stolen in Samburu police post attack

Thursday, March 17th, 2022 00:03 | By
Police officers patrol a village after a recent bandit attack in Samburu. PD/FILE

Unknown assailants shot dead a police officer and seriously injured another before stealing four G3 rifles and 197 rounds of ammunition at Lodokojek Police Post, Samburu West Sub-county.

The daring night attack happened just two days after a gang shot dead a General Service Unit (GSU) senior officer and stole his firearm in Mochongoi, Baringo.

The National Police Service (NPS) said the men raided the post—about 40km from Maralal Police Station—at around 8.45pm. Only two officers were around. They were caught unawares and shot inside their houses.

The officer in charge of the post, Sgt Benard Leleur said he left the station to a nearby shopping centre, about 100m away, and while there, he heard gunshots from the post.

On returning, he found the two officers lying in a pool of blood. The attackers had also broken the steel box and taken the weapons.

The two injured officers were rushed to Maralal County Referral Hospital where Constable Joel Muchai was pronounced dead on arrival while his colleague, Constable Erick Miano is admitted in a serious but stable condition. He was shot in the stomach and the right hand.

Police Spokesperson Bruno Shioso yesterday said a manhunt for the gang had been launched with a view to recovering the firearms and bringing the bandits to book. He, however, said by last evening, no arrest or recovery had been made.

“Security and safety of all police officers and firearms remain a key priority area for the government and the National Police Service. It is owing to this that NPS continues to review and assess the security situation and risk factors that officers are exposed to which may compromise their personal safety,” Shioso said.

He said the review included the closing or reinforcing of the security outposts at risk. “It is a continuous exercise,” he added.

There have been several attacks in the Central Rift targeting officers in the recent past where some have even lost their lives.

On Saturday, for example, contingents of security officers were dispatched to Baringo to hunt down bandits who had shot and killed Inspector Wycliffe Nyongesa in Mochongoi in an ambush. The attackers also stole his firearm.

On October 26, 2021, another gang raided Kirimon Police Post in the same Samburu West sub-county and stole two G3 rifles together with two magazines loaded with a total of 40 rounds of ammunition.

Last year’s attack

Following the October last year attack, police headquarters directed all police posts and patrol bases with less than six officers be closed and the officers deployed to the mother stations.

The Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the Kenya Police Service Edward Mbugua said such officers were unable to provide services to the members of the public as expected.

“It has come to my knowledge that there are police posts and patrol bases which are being manned by an inadequate number of officers and therefore unable to provide services as expected,” Mbugua said, further directing that such areas would be policed by officers from the mother stations.

“You are directed to recall those officers and deploy them to their mother stations. Security within the affected areas will be provided by sending officers on patrols,” he added.

The directive was issued just a day after unknown people raided Kirimon police post in the same area and stole two G3 rifles, serial numbers A01278 and A04499.

Unknown people raided the post on Tuesday at around 9.30pm and broke the door of the armoury before stealing the firearms. They shot one round in the air as they were leaving.

The post had only four officers and at the time of the incident, there was one officer at the post who had gone to his house, leaving the post unmanned. An officer at the station then during the incident said while in his house he heard the door of the office and the armoury being broken and he assumed it was the in charge of the post who was breaking the door.

The officer said he assumed it was his senior because he had in the past broken the door several times after losing the keys.

Shortly after, he heard a gunshot and checked outside but did not see anything. He then got out and proceeded to the office where he found the door having been broken and the steel box used as the armoury wide open.

Investigations revealed that there was no officer manning the report office and the armoury. The in charge who was not present during the time of the incident claimed he had rushed home and left two constables at the post.

More on News