Two robbery suspects were gunned down hours after they hijacked a Nakuru-bound lorry on Tuesday morning.
Gilgil Officer Commanding Police Division Emmanuel Opuru said the two were part of a six-man gang found offloading the stolen cargo when police pounced on them.
He said the lorry driver had stopped at Kikopey area to answer a call of nature when three men, armed with an AK 47 assault rifle, accosted him at around midnight.
"They kidnapped the driver, tied him up, drove with him along the highway before dumping him in a thicket," said Mr Opuru.
The Gilgil police boss told the Nation that the suspects later picked up three others along the way, before driving towards Nakuru.
"The driver managed to free himself and report the matter at the Gilgil police station with officers on duty giving a chase," added Mr Opuru.
Police caught up with the suspects at Free Area in Nakuru as they transferred the stolen goods into a warehouse.
Mr Opuru said the thugs defied orders to surrender and instead opened fire, prompting a fierce shootout.
"Two of them were gunned down, while their four accomplices, who were still armed, managed to escape," confirmed the police boss.
He revealed they were still pursuing the fleeing suspects, saying he suspects they might have sustained injuries during the shootout.
The latest incident is among a series of robberies that have occurred along the Maai-Mahiu-Naivasha-Gilgil highway, targeting truck drivers.
A special team of undercover officers has been formed to track down the gangsters, with Opuru saying they suspect the six were only a part of larger criminal network terrorising motorists along the busy highway.