A police officer was Thursday shot and killed in an ambush by gunmen along the Marsabit-Isiolo Highway.

Another officer and two other civilians were shot and seriously wounded in the incident in the Malgis area.

The attackers stole the officers’ guns and escaped with them, police said.

The team was escorting about 25 heads of cattle when they ran into an ambush in the area at about 4 pm, police said.

The attackers stole two G3 rifles and the animals and escaped with them. According to police, the victims had planned to head to the Merile area when they were ambushed.

The injured officer was hit in the head while the civilians were shot in the leg and thigh.

They were all rushed to hospital where they were admitted in stable condition.

Senior police officers visited the scene and declared efforts to trace the gunmen were ongoing.

The body of the officer was moved to a local morgue.

The area is part of those under a security operation to address insecurity and such attacks.

The incident comes amid insecurity in the larger North Rift region where the government has been intensifying its efforts to restore peace.

Dozens of firearms have been recovered in the operation.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki was in parts of Baringo, Laikipia and Samburu last week as part of efforts to heighten the war on the gunmen.

He said politics, ethnicity, culture, religion or other affiliations must be separated from the fight against the criminal atrocities perpetrated against the people of Kenya through the terror of bandits.

“The government is determined to permanently destroy the intricate infrastructure of banditry by going for its benefactors, beneficiaries, accessories, planners and executors,” he said.

He said political and other leaders must refrain from politicizing security matters or trying to meddle with security operations to allow the organs and agencies to wage a decisive, ruthless and conclusive war against the impunity and terror of banditry.

He said multi-agency security officers deployed in the six North Rift Valley counties will remain on the ground for the long haul until the banditry menace is eradicated.