ELDORET, Kenya (Reuters) – Unidentified gunmen attacked Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto’s residence on Saturday while he and his family were out, local television stations reported, 10 days before presidential and legislative elections.
Ruto is the running mate for President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking a second and final term in office.
A Reuters reporter at the scene in the western town of Eldoret said that as of 7 p.m.(1600 GMT) the area leading to Ruto’s compound was still cordoned off to the public and journalists. He said no gunshots had been heard for at least an hour.
A senior government official said a security operation was going on to subdue the attackers, whose motives were unclear. Typically the deputy president’s residence is guarded by an elite paramilitary police unit.
“For now we have nothing to tell you until the operation is over. Just give us time,” Wanyama Musiambo, Rift Valley Regional Coordinator, told reporters at the scene.
Kenya holds presidential, legislative and regional county representative elections on Aug. 8.
Ruto and Kenyatta spent Saturday campaigning in the counties of Kitale, Kericho and Narok, the president’s office said in a statement. Neither commented on the incident.
Officials from Ruto’s office were not available for immediate comment.
Earlier in the afternoon, KTN News reported a police officer guarding the residence was wounded, while NTV News reported on gunshots being heard from the scene.
Additional reporting by George Obulutsa and Humphrey Malalo in Nairobi; Editing by Hugh Lawson