Two Kenyan wildlife rangers have been killed in a gun battle with suspected elephant poachers, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said Friday.
A gang of poachers armed with AK-47 rifles opened fire on several rangers on Thursday in the Kipini Conservancy, a private game reserve on Kenya's coast.
Two rangers were killed, according to the state-run conservation group.
Poaching has increased dramatically in the East African country in the past two years due to rising demand for ivory in East Asia.
This year alone, more than 160 elephants have been killed for their tusks.
Since December 2011, six KWS rangers have been killed by poachers, the group said.