Police Spokesperson Charles Owino on Friday refuted allegations of extrajudicial killings reported in Tiaty, Baringo County in the ongoing police operation to quell rising tensions.

Owino said police managed to recover 35 illegal guns and arrested 7 people found with them during the ongoing operation to recover illegal firearms and restore order in the volatile region.

“We have asked the locals to voluntarily surrender illicit arms to the police. We wish to assure the public that volunteers shall not be prosecuted,” said Owino.

He accused pastoralist communities in the affected areas in Turkana and Baringo of turning against police and reservists who are meant to protect them during the rampant bandit attacks.

He accused local politicians of funding the bandit attacks in the said area.

“Cattle rustling has become a commercial enterprise, with the very wealthy and influential financing the crime. This means that today’s cattle rustlers are simply criminals for hire.

“I do not know who these financiers are. Go ask your politicians. Ours is just to provide security.”

Owino refuted claims of police executions after postmortem examinations showed six people, whose bodies were dumped in a bush in Baringo South, were tortured before being shot dead.

The autopsies were conducted by Baringo County pathologist Wangare Wambui on Thursday after the bodies of victims of skirmishes in Arabal were retrieved from the bushes.

A total of 10 people died, including police officers, in the ongoing security operation being conducted in Turkana and Baringo counties to tame banditry and mop up illegal arms.