Gunmen attacked a safari vehicle in a game reserve in northern Kenya on Friday, killing the driver and wounding a Swiss tourist in the third attack on tourists in the east African country in two months.
Police and a game ranger in the town of Isiolo said gunmen fired at the vehicle in the Shaba National Reserve, just over 300 kilometres north of the capital Nairobi.
The Swiss embassy in Nairobi said the vehicle was carrying two Swiss citizens when the gunmen struck. Security forces were scouring the area, a senior regional official said.
“One female Swiss citizen was wounded and is receiving medical care. The other is not injured,” the Swiss embassy told Reuters, adding the mission had been in touch with the pair’s family.
It gave no further details.
Eastern Province Police Commander Marcus Ochola said the woman had sustained gunshot wounds.
The recent attacks on tourists and the kidnapping of Western aid workers near the border with Somalia were cited by Kenya as one of the reasons it sent troops into the Horn of Africa nation last month to fight Al-Shabab rebels.
Tourism is a major foreign exchange earner for Kenya. The region’s biggest economy is desperate to prevent its image abroad being damaged further.
Northern Kenya has a number of well-known game reserves and national parks including Samburu and Buffalo Springs, and is known for banditry.
There have also been frequent clashes between pastoralists this year near Isiolo, a region hit by drought, but police ruled out any link to those conflicts.
“A strong team of police ... and Kenya Wildlife Service rangers a combing the Shaba area. The attackers have little chance of escaping,” said Upper Eastern Regional Commissioner Issaih Nakoru.
The game ranger in Isiolo, who declined to be named, told Reuters the couple were staying at a lodge in the Shaba reserve and their vehicle came under fire as they were returning from a game drive.
A British man was killed and his wife abducted from a beach resort in northern Kenya on Sept. 11. The gunmen fled to Somalia where the woman is still being held hostage.
A French woman was kidnapped nearby in the Lamu archipelago three weeks later and taken to Somalia. She subsequently died. Two Spanish aid workers were snatched from the Dadaab refugee camp later in October and also abducted across the border.