Residents of Yatia in Baringo County are living in fear as armed bandits struck again on Tuesday killing 5 people in two separate incidents.
According to reports, bandits accosted and shot at a family of three on a motorbike heading to a pass-out ceremony for their family member along the Yatia-Chemoe route junction during the day. The family sustained injuries, with the man dying on the spot, while the wife and a three-year-old child succumbed to their injuries at a local hospital.
Similarly, 2 more people were gunned down in a similar fashion at Natan in Kagir by bandits, bringing the total death toll for Tuesday to 5.
A photo of a security officer aiming to shoot
The bandits are said to have laid an ambush on the two men who are claimed to be National Police Reservists, on Tuesday evening and accosted the NPRs, spraying them with bullets and killing them on the spot.
In response to the incidents, leaders from the region are calling upon the Ministry of Interior to beef up security in the region, amid concerns that the bandits are now targeting villagers.
The Baringo North Member of Parliament, Joseph Ekilap in a statement condemning the act, stated that the bandits were retaliating against the police who conducted an operation in the area that culminated in the death of 5 of their colleagues.
Ekilap elaborated on the matter stating, “ None of my constituents have gone to cause havoc in another area, the bandits are retaliating against the Police who killed five bandits after they undertook a cattle rustling activity in Kapturo”.
In his speech, the MP noted that they are working with the national government to contain the situation and ensure peace prevails in the area.
However, the situation has caused unrest in the area as residents are fearful of the bandits capturing the village.
Banditry has become rampant in Baringo even after Interior Cabinet Secretary, Kithure Kindiki, stated that the country has been able to contain bandit attacks by 70 per cent.
The CS reassured Kenyans that incidents of cattle theft and banditry across the country would reduce as the government had waged war against the bandits and that the efforts to end insecurity were bearing fruit.
Kindiki also vowed that the national government would crack down on administration officers and any other person aiding and abetting banditry through financing.
Five schools namely Chemoi, Kagir, Yatya, Ngaratuko na Kosile have been closed in Baringo North in fear of more attacks by the bandits.
A photo collage of KDF officers during a training exercise (left) and suspected armed bandits (Right)
KENYA DEFENCE FORCES/Baringo News