By BOAZ KIPNGENO and MICHAEL SAITOTI
Tension is high in Samburu East after armed bandits shot and killed two people in separate incidents on Wednesday night.
In the first instance, the bandits shot a woman travelling in a Toyota Probox that was ferrying miraa from Isiolo to Wamba. In the second, they sprayed a lorry with bullets, killing the driver.
The Kenya Red Cross Society said the two were killed after an unknown number of bandits erected a roadblock at Learata on Wamba Road near the junction connecting the road with the Isiolo-Marsabit highway. Two other people were seriously injured in a separate shooting at the same spot.
Following the shooting, residents paralysed business in Wamba town and blocked roads, protesting the increased insecurity.
Kenya Red Cross Society co-ordinator for Samburu County Mugambi Gitonga said Wamba has become a no-go-zone as a result of the protests.
“They are threatening to burn any vehicle seen moving and all shops and businesses have been closed,” said Gitonga.
Gitonga said at least four vehicles, including a Probox carrying miraa from Isiolo, a lorry, a Samburu County government vehicle and a private Land Rover were attacked.
Samburu County Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga said security personnel who are still tracking the bandits have arrested two suspects.
“A group of armed bandits decided to terrorise passengers and unfortunately we have lost two lives,” Nyagwanga said, adding that security has been beefed up.
Nyagwanga said Samburu East District Commissioner Winston Murungi is engaging the community in the area including Wamba town and Archers Post in peace talks.
Samburu County Police Commandant Patrick Wambane said one of the suspects was recently charged with the murder of a European but the court had released him. He said the infiltration of illegal arms from neighbouring countries has increased.
“Ethiopia and Sudan are just here and these communities have intermarried, making every trade possible,” said Wambane.
The injured are recuperating at Wamba Mission Hospital.
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