NAIROBI - A POLICE officer in a jealous rage shot dead 10 people in a rampage through two bars in central Kenya early on Sunday before giving himself up for arrest, police said.

The officer shot and killed two of his own colleagues in a bar in the central town of Siakago, before running amok in another bar nearby, killing eight civilians, police chief John Chelimo said. An angry mob of around 1,000 people laid siege to the town's police headquarters where the man had surrendered after failing to kill himself when his gun had run out of ammunition, police said.

'They wanted to storm it,' Chief Chelimo told AFP. 'They were violent but police did not use force.' Officers had managed to move him to another location for his safety shortly before, he added. 'He is safe in custody but not in Siakago.' Chief Chelimo said the man was on guard duty outside the local police headquarters around 1am when he erupted into a jealous rage after being told his girlfriend was drinking with his colleagues in a nearby bar.

'That is when he excused himself and lied to his colleagues that he was going for a short call, only to go to the bar where he had been told his girlfriend was,' said Chief Chelimo, district commissioner for Mbeere North, of which Siakago is the main town.

The man, who has not been named, opened fire twice at the entrance to the bar and then shot two colleagues inside as they were running out towards the sound of the shots. 'He then proceeded to a neighbouring bar and shot indiscriminately at people who had rushed out to see what was happening,' Chief Chelimo added. 'He was just shooting at anybody on sight, in total 10 people died,' he said.

No one except those killed had been shot in the incident, indicating that the officer had taken care to shoot to kill his victims, the police chief said.

Kenyan cop kills 10 in rampage