Four Kenyan police officers killed by cattle rustlers

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 10, 2012 12:56 PM

ISIOLO, Kenya (Reuters) - Four Kenyan police officers were killed on Saturday when cattle rustlers ambushed them with guns and anti-personnel bombs, a senior official said.

Osman Warfa, provincial commissioner for the vast Rift Valley province, told Reuters that 10 others were wounded in the northern county of Samburu in the attack, that happened as the police pursued cattle rustlers who had carried out a raid.

"They were ambushed by the Turkana militia after midday," Warfa said, referring to rustlers from the Turkana ethnic community, who had raided cattle from members of the Samburu community.

The two tribes frequently raid cattle from each other and fight over grazing land and watering points. Samburu county has a national game reserve and neighbouring Turkana county is where explorer Tullow Oil struck the country's first promising oil find earlier this year.

Warfa said the dead included an inspector of the paramilitary General Service Unit, an officer from the regular police force and two police reservists.

In September, dozens of villagers were killed by armed raiders in the coastal county of Tana River, creating security concerns ahead of a presidential election scheduled for March next year.

(Reporting by Noor Ali; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Stephen Powell)