Suspected Pokot bandits kill bus driver in Kerio Valley

A minibus driver was on Wednesday night killed by suspected Pokot bandits near Tot centre in Kerio Valley as insecurity in the region appears to get out hand.

The ill-fated vehicle christened ‘Taproots’, plying the Eldoret-Tot road was attacked at Chemukutet, a few meters from Tot trading centre in Marakwet East Sub-County at around 7.30pm.

The driver identified as Paul Kanandi, 32, died on the spot, according to Marakwet East Deputy County Commissioner Erick Mulevu.

Three other people were injured after the bandits sprayed bullets on the vehicle once it started rolling after the driver lost control.

Officers from the nearby Tot Police Station rushed to the scene as the bandits started shooting at the injured passengers.

The same bus, plying the Eldoret-Tot-Sambalat route, had narrowly escaped an ambush by the bandits at the same spot three days ago.

At the time of the attack, it only had eight passengers as others had alighted before reaching Tot.

Security officers estimated that at least 10 gun-wielding suspected Pokot bandits from Tiaty lay in wait for the bus to arrive at the spot where they began shooting, first aiming at the driver who instantly lost control.

Mr Mulevu said the bandits aimed at the driver and after hitting him, the vehicle started rolling with the passengers inside.

One passenger sustained gunshot wounds while two others suffered injuries after the vehicle rolled.

“Were it not for quick police response from the nearby Tot Police Station, the passengers could have been killed by the bandits who were moving in to descend on the rolling vehicle,” said the administrator.

Residents said all the passengers would have been killed were it not for the swift response by the police.

The County Police Commander Tom Odera said the officers are already on the ground pursuing leads that can help them flush out the bandits.

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