Two men were arrested in connection with the killing of Kenyan-Ugandan athlete Benjamin Kiplagat. After he was found stabbed to death in his brother’s car on the outskirts of Eldoret on New Year’s Eve, police said Monday.

“A knife suspected of being used in the killing of the 34-year-old was found on one of the suspects,” Moiben sub-county police commander Stephen Okal said.

The motive for the killing may been robbery, he said, because money and a cell phone had been taken from Kiplagat. However, the police stated that Kiplagat had been “ambushed” by the two men before his car collided with their motorcycle. “This probably provoked them to commit this act of violence,” Commander Okal told AFP, referring to the stabbing inflicted of the athlete. 

Kiplagat’s throat was cut, police said. He was found dead on Saturday.

Kiplagat competed in three Olympic games and six world championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He won a bronze medal at the 2012 African Championships.

Suspects arrested on Monday

Kiplagat is the fourth athlete to be killed in the area recently. Most famously, two-time cross-country world champion Agnes Tirop was fatally stabbed in her home in Iten two years ago by her husband.

Kenyan-born Bahraini runner Damaris Muthee’s decomposing body was found at a male Ethiopian athlete’s house in 2022. The athlete is the main suspect in her death but has not been apprehended.

Rwandan runner Rubayita Siragi was killed in August in what police believe was a fight with another athlete over a woman.

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