Seven suspected gangsters were Tuesday shot dead after a gunfight near Makutano market in Kirinyaga County.
Police were trailing the gangsters believed to have been involved in a series of violent robberies in Nairobi and caught up with them near the market.
The officers blocked the car the suspects were travelling in and ordered them to surrender but they defied and started shooting at the police.
It was then that a fierce gun battle ensued causing panic in the busy market.
Traders, who were caught unaware by the dramatic fight hurriedly closed their shops while vendors fled as gunshots rent the air.
Witnesses said the seven were travelling in one car, which was suddenly blocked by two police vehicles.
They said the gangsters attempted to run away as the fight intensified but were shot dead. Police recovered two loaded pistols and 10 mobile phones.
Kirinyaga County Police Commander David Kirui was among the first officers to arrive at the scene.
He said the suspects, who are yet to be identified, were followed from Nairobi.
“Officers acting on information trailed the suspects who were heading towards Nyeri and gunned them down,” said Mr Kirui.
The bodies of the slain men were taken away by police.