Seven men suspected to be thugs were Sunday night shot dead in a botched robbery on a warehouse in Industrial Area, Nairobi.
The seven are alleged to have stolen gas cylinders from the go down when an alarm was raised alerting police.
Police said five other suspects were arrested and several stolen cylinders recovered from a lorry that had been parked within the facility.
The gang had apparently gone to the Softa go-down off Enterprise Road and held two guards on duty hostage before they started to load the cylinders onto another lorry.
This was after they had taken hostage of another lorry ferrying dozens of empty gas cylinders into the store and started to offload it to another waiting vehicle.
Nairobi Deputy Police boss Richard Kerich said the incident happened at about 9 pm on Sunday.
“Police were alerted and managed to kill the seven on the spot as they tried to flee. We recovered crude weapons from the men,” said Kerich.
He said they recovered a toy pistol, axe, machetes and claw bars.
The guards who had been tied and locked up in a room were rescued. The other workers of the hijacked lorry were also rescued.
The bodies of the seven were moved to the mortuary. Relatives and friends of the deceased are expected to visit the mortuary to identify the bodies and help in processing postmortem exercise.
Kerich said they recovered the consignment of the gas cylinders that had been loaded onto another lorry.
This was the biggest single number of suspects to be mowed down by police bullets this year so far.
Police say they have enhanced patrols in the city to address crime incidents that are being reported.