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Turkana raid: President Ruto says it will not be business as usual

An armed herder looking after his livestock, Turkana County. [File, Standard]

President William Ruto has called for a major operation to flash out cattle rustlers who killed 10 security officers in Turkana and Pokot counties on Saturday, September 24.

Through his Twitter handle, President Ruto has stated that he has received a comprehensive report on the incident and that a multi-agency team will be deployed to restore normalcy and action taken against the bandits.

“After receiving a comprehensive report on the Turkana/Pokot incident that led to 10 security/administration officers losing their lives, I have instructed security agencies to deal firmly, decisively and conclusively with those involved,” He stated.

The President associated the incident with the perennial castle rustling that has been rocking the two neighbouring counties for decades, vowing to bring the vice to an immediate halt.

“Cattle rustling will stop na sio tafadhali,” he ended in his tweet.

During the incident blamed on Pokot and Baringo rustlers, eight police officers, chief, and a civilian were brutally killed by bandits in Turkana County. Among those who lost their lives is a sister of Thirdway Alliance Party Leader Dr. Ekuru Aukot.

In a press statement to newsrooms on Saturday, Police spokesperson Bruno Shioso said that the heavily armed bandits had made away with an unknown number of animals after shooting the victims during the attack.

“The National Police Service regrets to inform on the criminal and cowardly ambush by cattle rustling bandits on innocent members of the public and police officers. The officers were in hot pursuit of Pokot bandits who had raided a village in Turkana East and made away with livestock,” Shioso said Saturday.

Turkana Police Commander Samuel Ndanyi has told The Standard that already police officers have been deployed to the area in hot pursuit of the attackers.

“The incident occurred at Namariat near Kakiteitei village when the security convoy that comprised General Service Unit (GSU), National Police Reservists (NPRs) and general duty personnel were pursuing the bandits that had earlier attacked Ngikengoi village in Katilia Ward.

The officers included seven constables of the GSU and a general duty officer driving the armour-plated vehicle.