The National Police Service(NPS) has successfully recovered two stolen police rifles and gunned down two armed suspects in a gun battle that unfolded in Siaya County on Wednesday morning.
The rifles were stolen by assailants during a violent attack on officers delivering KCSE exam papers to Mahero Secondary School in Alego Usonga.
The deadly incident occurred on Monday morning when two armed police officers and the examination center manager had alighted from their transport vehicle to deliver exam materials.
Unbeknownst to them, hidden assailants unleashed a hail of gunfire, resulting in the tragic death of one officer and leaving the other gravely wounded. Miraculously, the examination center manager emerged unscathed from the ambush.
Exploiting the challenging terrain due to the rainy season, which forced the examination coordinating team to be dropped at a distance from the school gate, the attackers made a quick escape with AK47 and HK MP5 rifles.
On Tuesday, security forces launched an operation after a resident reported seeing guns in the possession of two suspects. Led by detectives from the Operations and Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, the pursuit spanned across Busia and Siaya counties, ultimately converging on a two-roomed house in the Awinga area of Siaya.
As police approached the residence, a barrage of gunshots erupted, initiating a fierce exchange of fire between the officers and the suspects.
“A knock at the wooden door by police was answered by the rattling of sporadic gunshots that ripped through the mud house, forcing the officers into covers and a like retaliation. When the guns went silent, two youthful suspects lay soaked in blood, and beside each, a rifle and several spent cartridges,” the DCI said in a report.
A subsequent search of the premises yielded a cache of evidence, including 44 live rounds, 16 spent cartridges, assorted mobile phones, crude weapons, daggers, machetes, military fatigues, and a collection of Islamic literature books, the Quran and prayer mats.
According to the police, the attackers are suspected to have recently returned from Somalia.
While one armed suspect managed to evade capture, another individual of interest has been taken into custody to aid ongoing investigations.
“We thank the members of the public for the continued sharing of credible information that goes a long way in tracking down dangerous criminals and thwarting terror incidences in our country,” said the DCI.
The NPS further issued a stern warning to armed criminal gangs, “that it is just a matter of time before ultimate justice catches up with them, as the all-out war to rid the streets of illegal firearms heightens.”