Kenya's deputy president attended the burning of more than 5,250 firearms seized by authorities to discourage circulation of illegal weapons in a country battling extremist violence.

Deputy President William Ruto presided over the blaze of rifles and pistols in three stacks about 15 feet high. Ruto said they were recovered in the country over the past nine years.

Kenya has stringent gun laws and obtaining a license is difficult. Applicants must go through several interviews and background checks. Despite the precautions, hundreds of illegal guns are smuggled into Kenya through porous borders, especially from Somalia, Kenya's war-torn neighbor to the north.

Authorities estimate that at least 500,000 guns are illegally held by civilians. The guns are used in cattle raids, extremist attacks and robberies.