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Two suspects killed in Kenya amid author shooting inquiry

Two suspects have been killed by Kenyan security officials after the shooting of Italian-born author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann, authorities said.

Kenya's internal security minister Joseph Nkaissery said a gun was recovered after Sunday's attack and is being examined to see if it was used to shoot Ms Gallmann in the stomach.

He added that other suspects are in custody after Ms Gallmann was attacked while patrolling her ranch. She is said to be in a stable condition following surgery.

Her property had rece ntly been targeted by arsonists amid tensions with herders seeking pasture as Kenya's drought worsens.

The local farmers' association said suspicion over the attack has fallen on herders who have invaded Ms Gallmann's ranch several times.

Mr Nkaissery blamed the shooting on "isolated banditry activity".

Kenya's drought affects roughly half the country and has been declared a national disaster.

More than 30 people have died in conflicts over grazing land as herders try to save their animals and livelihoods.

The US ambassador to Kenya, Robert F Godec, condemned the attack, saying that "violence is never the answer".

Both the herders and large-scale farmers in parts of Kenya's Rift Valley have been desperately waiting for seasonal rains which were due to start last month to ease the drought.

Kenya's military and police have been working to disarm and drive the hundreds of herders and their animals out of ranches they've invaded, but their actions appear to have escalated the violence.

When herders are driven from one ranch they move into another, the Laikipia Farmers' Association said.

The association has accused politicians campaigning for the August elections of inciting herders to invade the ranches, saying the owners' leases have come to an end and that herders can take over the land and distribute it among themselves.

Kenya's government has not responded to the accusation.

AP

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