By Joylene Singâoei
Five suspected poachers have been killed in Chepkorniswo in West Pokot County.
The incident occurred when five occupants in a double cabin vehicle opened fire at Kenya Wildlife Service ( KWS) rangers who were on patrol along Lodwar kapenguria.
KWS said a fierce exchange between their wardens and the poachers left two rangers injured in the 11pm incident that lasted for upto 1am.
One ranger has been airlifted to Nairobi for specialised treatment.
According to KWS Assistant Director George Osuri, six pieces of ivory weighing 50 kilograms, three AK 47 rifles and 15 rounds of ammunition were recovered in the Friday night attack. Also recovered was the vehicle that was being used by the poachers.
"Two rangers were injured in the fierce fire exchange. One was treated in a Kitale hospital and discharged while the other one has been airlifted to Nairobi for specialised treatment. The ivory destined for Nairobi were to be transported to Thailand where demand is high", said Mr Osuri.
Police have launched a manhunt for one suspect who managed to escape during the attack.
Poaching has continued to pose a major threat to tourism sector in Kenya. The country is losing billions of shillings in the industry due to poaching especially on elephants and rhinos which poachers target for their tusks that cost a fortune.
Despite stringent laws put in place to curb the menace, the country has been grappling with the challenge for many years.
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