Authorities in Isiolo have intensified the search for illegal held firearms in the wake of increased insecurity in parts of the county.
The efforts continued to register success after two guns were surrendered to the county security team over the weekend. This brought the number of illegal guns surrendered to authorities to 12, after 10 other rifles were also presented to authorities last week.
Isiolo County Commissioner Herman Shambi and County Police Commander Joseph Kigen received the weapons on behalf of the County Security team. Shambi lauded the residents of Ngaremara area for their cooperation in ongoing efforts to recover illegal firearms but warned that the goodwill shown by the residents and local leaders will only count if all illegally held guns were surrendered, as there was need to mop up all arms in the hands of civilians.
Isiolo County Police Commander Joseph Kigen said that the two surrendered firearms were an M16 Rifle with four rounds of ammunition and an AK47 Rifle with two rounds of ammunition, adding that the two weapons were serviceable/in a good working condition.
The administrator held that the operation was intelligence-led, only targeting criminals and not meant to hurt innocent members of public. He said that during the joint operation between security officers from both Isiolo and Meru Counties, the bandits once again engaged the officers when they approached their hideout, adding that the security officers will not relent until all the criminals are dealt with.
According to Shambi, at least 15 people have so far been arrested on suspicion that they played a role in the planning and execution of the attack on security officers but have been released on bail as investigations continue.
The operation was launched to recover illegal weapons and smoke out bandits who attacked GSU officers from Mariara police station in Igembe North (Meru County) and Anti Stock Theft Unit officers from Bullu who were responding to distress calls to provide reinforcement. During the attack that happened two weeks ago, 12 officers sustained gunshot wounds, with one of them succumbing to the injuries while undergoing treatment at a Nairobi based hospital.