Police shoot two dead in Isiolo, say they were escorting illegal Ethiopian immigrants

A file photo of police patrolling within Isiolo Town.

Two youths have been shot dead by security personnel in a remote location in Isiolo's Merti Sub-county.

Police allege the two were escorting a group of suspected illegal immigrants from Ethiopia for a fee.

They were cornered by the security personnel on patrol along Urura-Yamicha road on Wednesday night at around 8pm, police said.

Isiolo County Commissioner Geoffrey Odoming alleged the two were escorting 70 foreigners on foot and motorbikes in the bush and defied orders to stop.

"Instead of stopping, they fired at the officers who responded killing two of them," said Mr Odoming.

As a result, 40 of the foreigners were arrested at the scene of the incident and two G-3 rifles and three motorbikes recovered from the suspects, he added.

According to police, about half an hour later, along the same route the officers encountered another group of 30 foreigners also being escorted by local youth who disappeared in the bush upon spotting the police.

The bodies were taken to Isiolo Level Four Hospital while the immigrants were detained at Isiolo Police Station.

The police boss said cartels behind human smuggling had lured local youth to do for them 'dirty work ' at a fee to avoid police traps.

The smugglers and drug traffickers have resorted to use the cutline route in the bush in order to avoid the Isiolo-Moyale highway that is manned by multi-sectoral agencies that include police from Anti-Narcotics Unit and sometimes the army, the police boss said.

The team is based at Archers Post in Samburu East and the barrier operates for 24 hours.

The smugglers bring Ethiopians into the country while others deal in bhang variety called shashamane using the cutline route running from the border town of Moyale to Isiolo's Merti sub-county.

From Merti, the cartels engage the services of local youth who escort the aliens and the contraband past roadblocks on foot and motorbikes. The smuggled are ferried to Nairobi either via Isiolo town or Maua in Meru county.

The administrator appealed to parents, religious leaders and politicians to prevail on the youth in the area to stop engaging in criminal activities.