A National Youth Service (NYS) officer died under mysterious circumstances last Saturday night following confrontation between NYS servicemen and police officers in Bura Township, Tana North Sub County. While the NYS officers claim their colleague was shot dead by police officers, the police have categorically denied shooting anybody.
The incident has however brought tension in Bura Town as residents claim there were gun shots at night that is believed to have resulted in the death of the NYS officer.
Residents who talked to the media said the incident took place after one NYS officer fought with and injured one police officer over unknown reasons, a position corroborated by Tana River County Police Commander Walter Aliwa.
Mr. Aliwa said criminal investigation officers went to the NYS camp and arrested the suspect, but enraged servicemen later marched to the police station to rescue their colleague.
“In an attempt to rescue their colleague, the NYS servicemen armed themselves with their tools of trade – spades – and marched to the police station to demand his immediate release.
However, the officer in charge of the station explained to them why their colleague had been arrested and they left.
Mr. Aliwa told reporters Sunday that NYS officers numbering about 800, and in full uniform and armed with spades, marched to the town where they attacked police officers on patrol and members of the public.
“The police officers on patrol on seeing the confrontation rushed to the station to get reinforcement since the NYS youths were violent and they were throwing stones,” he said.
“Actually our officers did not shoot anybody; they only talked to them as they know that they are officers. Why they went to town in large numbers is something that we are still investigating.
He said it was possible that thugs took advantage of the situation and shot the NYS officer, because some locals had been complaining that the NYS was interfering with their businesses.
Emmanuel Kenya, a resident of Bura Town and who was at the bar, said patrons were having a good time when a fight arose between the officers and the NYS youths, with the youths overpowering one officer and injuring him.
Another resident, Ms Lucy Buya, said she heard gunshots and took cover, thinking they were being attacked by Al Shabaab terrorists.
Residents say that the animosity between the NYS servicemen in the County has been a matter of concern, and that it was just a matter of time before they engaged one another.
By Emmanuel Masha