Two suspected gangsters were Wednesday shot dead and a third one injured  after a violent robbery at Kabare village in Kirinyaga County.

One of the slain gangsters is said to be a police officer, who has turned into a criminal.

"One of the suspects is a security officer from a special crime unit," a police officer who sought anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the press told the Nation.

The robbers were gunned down as they took off with their loot.

According to the witnesses, the gangsters raided the village and robbed a women group of Sh13,800.

It was then that the women raised an alarm, attracting scores of villagers who confronted the gangsters.

Sensing danger, the gangsters fired several shots, sending the villagers scampering to safety.

The gangsters then escaped on a motorcycle towards Kutus town.

However officers from the special crime unit got wind of the robbery and gave chase.

The officers caught up with the gangsters at Njegas area and sprayed bullets on them, killing two of them on the spot, but a third one managed to escape with gunshots wounds.

"The women were contributing money for table banking when the robbers appeared and took away the cash," said one of the villagers.

Kirinyaga County police commander Leah Kithei said her officers responded immediately the robbery was reported and pursued the suspects.

She said the bodies of the slain gangsters were taken to Kerugoya Hospital mortuary.

Ms Kithei described the suspects as part of gang that had been unleashing terror on innocent residents and traders in the region.