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The Multi-Agency Security Team conducting 'Operation Maliza Uhalifu North Rift' Friday handed over 87 cows and 26 goats to the rightful owners after positive identification.

The animals were stolen from Chemoe and Kagir Villages in Baringo North and recovered from the bandits after a fierce fire exchange.

The recovery of the livestock comes a day after troops in parts of North Rift bombed a bandits' hideout in Tandare valley, Baringo County.

Residents near the valley said they heard the bombing at 6 am on Thursday.

Security troops are set to launch a combined land and air operation to comb caves, gorges, and ravines in insecurity-prone areas in the Kenyan North, following the expiry of a 24-hour vacate order issued by Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki on Sunday. 

The troops on the ground who will tackle the bandits stealing livestock and killing residents include the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), National Police Reservists (NPR), Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU), ASTU, and the General Service Unit (GSU).

In terms of heavy equipment, the state has deployed a nearly complete arsenal ranging from armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and guns, including the automated AK-47, G3 rifles, and general-purpose machine guns.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Noor Gabow is the Commander in charge of the operation.

Dozens of people who escaped the targeted areas are camping at various places in need of food and shelter.

The government has declared the counties of Samburu, Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, West Pokot and Laikipia as disturbed and dangerous owing to numerous and persistent incidents of violent bandit attacks.

More than 140 people have died in the hands of marauding bandits in the last seven months in the counties, including 20 security personnel.

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