Two people have been killed in an attack on Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto’s residence, police say, days before the African country’s next presidential election on August 8.
A gunman and a police officer were killed on Saturday night after police engaged in a shootout with the attacker outside Ruto’s house in the western town of Eldoret, a senior administrator said Sunday. The attack left another guard injured.
Police said Ruto, who is the running mate of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the upcoming vote, and his family were not home during the gunfire.
“From the exchange of fire we thought it was more than one attacker, because he used different firearms, but after we subdued him, we found only one man dead, plus our officer who he had killed,” Rift Valley regional coordinator Wanyama Musiambo, told reporters.
Further investigation showed that the attacker was unarmed first but was able to use a range of weapons by breaking into the police armory after making his way into the compound.
“After the operation we discovered that it was one gunman, but because he was inside there, he could change position and firearms because he had access to the guns. And the guns he was using were ours,” Musiambo said.
Police were still looking for more clues to see whether the attacker was alone or had help, the official noted.
Ruto addressed the attack in a tweet, offering condolences to the family of the fallen guard. Police had initially said that the attacker was wielding a machete and holed himself up in an outbuilding after injuring one police officer.
Kenyatta’s office said in a statement that Ruto had spent the day campaigning with the president.
Decades-long power struggle
The August 8 election will see Kenyatta and the ruling Jubilee Party defend their throne against Raila Odinga, who was Prime Minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013.
Odinga has been endorsed by the National Super Alliance (NASA), a group of five opposition parties.
The Odinga and Kenyatta families have been involved in a power struggle since 1966, three years after the country’s independence from the UK.
By Africafrique and agencies