A gang of bandits that was escorting bhang in Isiolo County shot and injured a police officer in a clash.
The incident happened between Yamicha and Matasadeni area in Merti Sub-county.
The bandits were also escorting illegal immigrants and vehicles ferrying bhang valued at Sh1.5 million, police said.
Isiolo County Police Commander Hassan Barua said the bandits had three vehicles and over 10 motorbikes carrying the immigrants from Ethiopia, that tried to make a U-turn as others engaged police in a shootout.
The officers then successfully deflated the vehicle’s tyres after which 11 parcels of bhang were recovered.
The immigrants and the bandits managed to escape during the drama.
It was then that the officer was injured.
The Land Rover vehicle and the motorbike were taken to Merti Police Station.
The injured officer was treated at Merti Sub-county hospital and discharged.
Barua said they have increased patrols on the road to address the menace.
“We have doubled the number of officers manning the area and we want to tell the bandits that their business must collapse,” he said and vowed to get those involved some of whom are suspected to be locals.
The route is notorious with bringing in bhang from Ethiopia.
The traffickers also use the Garissa route to traffic the narcotics and immigrants.
Police have in the past seized several kilos of the narcotics and stopped the smugglers from their businesses.