Bandits torch school as tension build up in Laikipia
Melgwete Primary school in the troubled Laikipia county was on Tuesday afternoon set on fire by suspected bandits, barely a day after the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Laikipia Nature Conservancy and its environs due to insecurity.
After setting the school ablaze, the bandits then engaged security forces in a shootout as they headed back to a nearby valley.
Journalists from various media houses and a host of local leaders who had gone to the school to assess the situation were caught up in a heavy exchange between the bandits and police officers.
The attack happened as Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya launched a security operation about four kilometres away in Ol Moran town.
According to Natembeya, the school was among those which were closed due to the insecurity in the region.
Mr Natembeya said the bandits are using heavy and sophisticated firearms.
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Leaders from the county who witnessed the incident led by Senator John Kinyua, MPs Sarah Lekore (Laikipia Narth) and her Laikipia West counterpart Patrick Mariru.
They castigated the national government over the perennial attacks for failing to take action despite the previous stern warning.
Senator Kinyua said that the government should declare that residents were on their own as it was unable to protect them.
The government on Monday declared the conservancy a disturbed zone and ordered a security operation to commence immediately to flush out all illegal occupants off the conservancy.
The council also directed for a dusk to dawn curfew in the conservancy and its environs with immediate effect.