It was supposed to be a routine operation for police officers Martin Eriku, Ismail Kagweri and Lameka Agaba, attached to Kibuku Police Station.
The trio was dispatched to arrest a man suspected of defilement. However, on arrival, they were attacked by residents and later had to be admitted in Mbale regional hospital in critical condition.
The officers reportedly signed out to Kamodo village, Kabweri Sub-county on Wednesday, to arrest a man suspected of defiling a 16-year-old girl at about 5.30am.
But when they arrived at the home of the suspect’s father, he made an alarm that attracted a mob armed with sticks and machetes that immediately pounced on the police officers.
Mr Michael Odongo, the Malaba regional police spokesperson, confirmed the incident, saying the police were executing their duties adding that it was unfortunate that people decided to take the law into their hands.
Mr Odongo said the three officers were critically injured as one nearly lost his left hand in an attempt to protect himself from being cut.
The spokesperson said soon after the incident, police swung into action to rescue their officers at the scene of crime and took them to the hospital.
“This was an unfortunate and regrettable incident. But we shall not allow this to continue. We shall apprehend those who were involved and they will be prosecuted,” Mr Odongo said.
Police also arrested six people to help in their investigations before they can be arraigned in court on charges of attempted murder.
Mr Odongo blamed residents for their actions saying: “This is a totally barbaric way of doing things and we will continue to root out such wrong elements from the society.”