A security operation in Meru has led to recovery of 74 cattle which were stolen by bandits at Kachuru grazing area in Igembe North, Meru County.

Confirming the recovery, Garbatulla Deputy County Commissioner Kipchumba Rutto said bandits armed with AK 47 rifles had stolen the animals from Somali and Boran communities last week and drove them to Meru County.

Rutto said the security personnel pursued the animals and recovered all the cattle in Igembe North area.

He lauded security officers for the effort to track down the animals for three days and urged Wananchi to be availing information so that rustling in the region could be tamed.

Rutto added that the bandits escaped after an exchange of fire with security officers but left the animals some 10 km from Kachuru Trading Centre.

Speaking while handing over the recovered animals to the owners at Kulamawe, Rutto challenged herders from Somali, Boran and Meru to stop the outdated practices.

He said the government would firmly deal with gangs of criminals from the three communities who have formed groups with view to be stealing animals to enrich themselves.

The deputy county commissioner urged them to herd together under close supervision of local chiefs and Nyumba Kumi committees.

Rutto challenged pastoralist communities to stop rustling, saying the government would not spare them and warned politicians and tycoons behind the crime that they would face full force of the law.