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Two KWS officers killed by poachers' fire in Tana River County
Date Published: 19 Jul, 2013
Two Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers have been killed in two separate gunfights with suspected poachers while responding to a poaching incident in Kipini Conservancy in Tana River County yesterday (Thursday, July 18, 2013). A poacher was also killed in one of the incidents.
An AK47 rifle, three rifle magazines and 208 rounds of ammunitions were recovered in the incident.
The two are the unit commanding officer and a ranger belonging to an anti-poaching unit in the area. The rest escaped unhurt. The first incident occurred when the rangers on a patrol mission in the area encountered an unknown number of a poaching gang believed to be on an elephant poaching mission in the dense forest. The rangers came under fierce gun fight which killed the first ranger forcing the team to retreat.Six hours later, in an attempt to recover the body of the slain ranger, the team of KWS rangers and a reinforcement team including the Kenya Police, moved into the scene oblivious that the gang had laid an ambush. They came under a second fierce gun fight which killed the KWS officer commanding the unit. It was not immediately clear whether the gang members who escaped were injured in the gun battle.
Eventually the bodies of the slain officers were removed to Malindi Hospital mortuary. The bodies will be flown to Nairobi awaiting burial arrangements.
A joint operation by KWS and Kenya Police is underway to pursue and arrest the poaching gang in the area.Six KWS rangers have been killed by poachers since December 2011. Their names were unveiled on the Conservation Heroes Monument in Nairobi by the then Minister for Forestry and Wildlife, Hon Dr Noah Wekesa, in a ceremony to mark conservation heroes day in December 2012.