Three suspects linked to murder of Ugandan geologists shot dead

Police officers at Kapedo along the border of Baringo and Turkana county. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

At least five people were killed in separate incidences in Turkana county as insecurity escalates.

In the first incident, three suspects wanted for the killing of Ugandan geologists were shot dead by police at Kang’alita in Loima sub-county over the weekend.

A joint security operation led by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) officers and local police reservists managed to neutralise the suspects during a shootout.

The officers also recovered two AK rifles from the suspects.

Turkana County Commissioner Julius Kavita said the suspects had been linked to the murder of the Ugandan geologists and were on police radar after they escaped arrest.

“This is a breakthrough on our part. These criminal elements have been on the run for several months and police have been tracking their movements. The suspects had been adversely mentioned and linked to the killing of geologists,” Kavita said.

He the suspects have been terrorising pastoralists and motorists plying Lodwar - Kitale highway.

The County Commissioner revealed that the suspects were tricked by locals to appear for a case where they were adversely mentioned. The two armed suspects were in the company of a man believed to be a new recruit to the gang.

“Little did they know, the National Police Reservists (NPRs) and DCI officers were keenly monitoring their movement. They finally emerged from their hideout while in possession of two AK rifles. When the officers attempted to arrest them they begun shooting, thus culminating in the killing of the three,” he said.

Police identified the slain suspects as Simon Egialan 37, who was alleged to be a gang leader and has three pending court cases of robbery with violence, gang rape and threatening to kill and has been under investigation for series of violent crimes, including highway robberies and stock theft.

Lokucha Ngeruk aka sharpshooter, 39, a close associate and aide to Egielan has been on the run after the killing of a police officer at Kangalita three years ago and ambush of Lorugum OCS on December 28, 2023.

Police also identified the third accomplice as Tiya Logumo, 21. Police recovered an AK rifle from him with a magazine containing three rounds of ammunition with spent cartridges. 

The bodies of the trio were moved to Lodwar County Referral Hospital morgue.  

Elsewhere, two people including a woman, were ambushed and shot dead by suspected Ethiopian Merille gunmen near Naito Nasekon area along Kenya –Ethiopia border on Sunday afternoon. 

The couple were returning on foot from Omorate South Omo border town when suspected armed members of the Ethiopian Dassanach ambushed them between Merukuka and Nyemomeri area.

Kibish sub-county Commissioner Samuel Kiarie said Ebenyo Arupe and his wife Eregae Ekalimon were ambushed on their way back home after shopping in Omorate, an Ethiopian border town.

Kiarie suspects the killing was a retaliatory attack following the murder of two Merile children two weeks ago by suspected Turkana bandits.

“We suspect this incident is connected to a retaliatory attack. We have launched an investigation with support of the Ethiopian administration to ascertain the matter. Arrangements are being made to ensure safety of Kenyans trapped in Omorate, and their return to Kenya,” Kiarie said. 

The administrator said they were arranging with the Ethiopian administration to transport the two bodies from Omorate health centre to Lobur village in Kenya for burial. 

Kavita urged locals to exercise restraint and maintain peace with their neigbours saying a multi-agency team was pursuing suspected bandits who shot dead two people and stole dozens of livestock in Turkana East.