Tension is high in Archers Post on the Samburu-Isiolo-Laikipia counties border after three people were shot dead and five others seriously injured on Sunday evening during a cattle recovery mission.
The incident happened at Kalama Conservancy in Archers Post, Samburu East.
The victims were rangers from Borana, Northern Rangeland Trust and Kalama conservancies who were pursuing livestock stolen from Nabung’oro village in Laikipia North.
“They were pursuing seven heads of cattle stolen from Laikipia County on May 24. The morans in the village attacked them thinking they were being attacked,” said Samuel Lekimaroro, the head of security at Northern Rangeland Trust Conservancy.
According to the security officer, after the shooting, the morans refused to allow the bodies of victims to be collected from the scene.
It took the intervention of local leaders to retrieve the three bodies and rescue those injured in the attack.
Samburu East Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) Samuel Muthamia, confirmed the incident.
“When the rangers located the stolen cattle, the morans raised alarm that they were being attacked by bandits from a neighbouring community, prompting a shoot out. The armed youth ambushed the rangers, killing three on the spot. Five others were seriously injured,” said Mr Muthamia.
The police boss, however, assured residents that security officers had been deployed to the area.
A villager and the Waso area chief were also injured. Three conservancy scouts among the injured were airlifted to Nanyuki for treatment.
The chief and one other person were taken to the Wamba Mission Hospital in Samburu East.
Locals have raised concern over the increasing insecurity in the area.
Archers Post has experienced a number of killings in stand-offs between conservancy rangers and area residents.
In October last year, four morans were killed by rangers at the Samburu National Reserve.