The suspected Al-Shabaab militants who killed eight police in Tarbaj, Wajir County, made away with the officers’ eight rifles and more than 540 bullets, a police report shows.
The Nation has established that the rifles and magazines that the five administration police officers and three national police reservists were armed with had at least 60 rounds each.
The attackers took away the slain officers’ six AK47 and two G3 rifles, according to the report sent to Vigilance House, the police headquarters in Nairobi.
Three of the missing weapons had 90 bullets each while four had 60.
In an exclusive interview with the Nation, a local administrator, who requested anonymity because he is not authorised to give media reports, said they could not find any rifle on arrival at the scene.
“We can’t tell for sure if they were taken by the militants or not,” he said, suggesting that locals might have as well taken the weapons.
The officers died on Sunday when their Toyota Landcruiser hit an improvised explosive device in Tarbaj as they patrolled on Kotulo–Bojigaras road.
The report names the officers who lost their lives as AP Sargent Abdiaziz Ali, AP Constable Abdullahi Hirab, AP Constable Thomas Mchere, AP constable Ali Mohammed Ali and AP Constable Ali Ahmed, who was the driver.
The police reservists are identified as Abdullahi Sheikh Yusuf, Daudi Ibrahim Ahmed and Muhumed Yakub Abdi.
After the IED explosion at around 2.30pm, the militants burnt the police vehicle and fled towards the Somalia border.
One officer who survived the explosion with critical injuries is said to have later succumbed while being rushed to hospital.
Teams from both Administration Police, Regular Police and other specialised units visited the scene on Sunday and are still hunting for the assailants who are believed to have fled towards Somalia border.
Earlier intelligence reports suggested that the suspected militants had been sighted in the area.
The bodies of the slain officers were taken to Wajir Referral Hospital mortuary for post-mortem.
Bojigaras Location is about 150 kilometres from Wajir town on the outskirts of Kutulo Division, which borders Mandera County and is prone to Shabaab attacks.
Earlier, the government had issued an alert on possible Al-Shabaab attacks in Wajir, Garissa and Mandera counties during the Islam holy month of Ramadan.
This is the second attack in the county since the beginning of the year after the attack on Qarsa Primary School, which left three people dead, including two teachers, in February.
Attacks on security personnel in Mandera, Wajir and Garissa have been on the rise in recent months.
Earlier this month, five security officers were killed in Liboi when their vehicle ran over an IED.
Three others were injured during the June 6 attack, which involved General Service Unit officers.