Tension as suspected bandits’ raid village in a retaliatory attack

A section of police officers deployed with Laikipia. [File, Standrd]

Tension remained high in Laikipia West on Monday evening after suspected bandits raided Rubere village, set several houses ablaze, and stole over 50 head of cattle.

The attack came after a security operation to flush out illegal grazers who had been accused of invading private farms in the area.

The village that was attacked borders the expansive Laikipia Nature Conservancy owned by conservationist Kuki Gallman.

Residents said three houses were burnt by the suspected bandits.

"We are currently hiding in the bushes. The attackers were many. They stole the cows. A group remained behind and set the houses on fire," said Ms Mary Wambui, a resident.

She added: "This happened a day after security officers carried out an operation to kick illegal grazers out of the ranch where an unknown number of cows were also killed."

"It looked like a retaliatory attack. We need more security officers in this region," she told The Standard from her hideout.

Area County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said: "The situation is now calm after we have deployed more officers to the affected area. We will not relent until we win this war."