The UK has denied claims that weapons used by British soldiers training in Kenya fell into the wrong hands of bandits.
Some 10,000 British troops undergo training at the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) in Nanyuki, Laikipia County annually.
Through Twitter on Thursday, British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott stated that no BATUK firearms are circulating in Kenya, saying they do a 100% daily quantity check.
“We are certain there are no BATUK weapons circulating in Kenya. We do a 100% daily quantity check, and a 100% weekly check by individual serial number, and none are missing. Units exercising with BATUK do not use M16 rifles,” Marriott said.
On Tuesday, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya said the bandits behind the ongoing deadly attacks in Laikipia are armed with superior weapons including M16 rifles mainly used by foreign troops training in the country.
“The guns that these bandits are using are mighty. They are called M16. Most of them are only used by foreign troops who come to train in Kenya,” Natembeya said.
The government on Monday declared the Laikipia Nature Conservancy a disturbed area and therefore a security operation zone. Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on the area to pave way for a security operation meant to flush out criminals.
The decision followed a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) chaired by President Kenyatta following weeks of escalating insecurity in the area.
Hundreds of families continue to flee their homes in the wake of the bandit attacks that have left at least 10 people dead.