NAIROBI – Authorities say six Kenyan police officers were killed and two wounded when their convoy was attacked by gunmen in central Kenya where drought and scarce grazing land is fuelling violence.
A police statement said members of the police’s Anti-Stock Theft Unit, travelling in two vehicles, were attacked by members of the Pokot ethnic group while on a “familiarisation tour” in Laikipia county,
The police said they “were attacked while negotiating (a) sharp corner and as a result the officers … were fatally injured.”
Laikipia has been hit by a wave of violence in recent months as armed cattle-herders searching for dwindling grazing land have driven tens of thousands of cattle onto private farms and ranches.
Over a dozen Kenyans have been killed in the violence.
In April, gunmen wounded an Italian-born conservationist at her conservation park in the area.
Kuki Gallmann was shot in the stomach after the vehicle she was driving in was ambushed.
The previous month, Tristan Voorspuy, a British military veteran who ran a safari company, was shot dead at a private ranch in Laikipia after he went to inspect the remains of a friend’s home that had been burnt down.