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15 killed in tribal clashes in Marsabit County

05 May 2015, 08:22

Marsabit - At least 15 people have been killed and 13 others injured in inter-communal clashes in the past two days in Marsabit County.

Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) said eight people were killed at Lomirok village on Sunday while six others were killed at Sarima village on Monday at the Samburu-Marsabit border.

Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet said 13 casualties were airlifted to Nairobi for specialized treatment following the clashes over cattle rustling. However, one casualty succumbed to injuries late on Monday, bringing the toll to 15.

Tension, however, remains high in the area amid fears of retaliatory attacks. Security officers have also mounted a security operation to flush out bandits who have terrorized residents since Saturday.

In November last year, armed raiders killed more than 20 police officers and over ten civilians in an ambush in Kapedo in the area.

Most residents have started to flee the area for fear of further attacks. Several schools in Pokot, Turkana and Baringo counties did not open Monday due to tension following the insecurity in the region.

Clashes between the rival cattle herding pastoralists in the region are common, with herders often carrying guns to protect their animals, but the recent fighting has been unusually heavy.

Livestock herding is the main livelihood and source of income in northern and some parts of western Kenya, and the hike in cattle thefts threatens to ignite cross-community reprisals and raids that could set the stage for a surge in ethnic fighting in the region.

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- Xinhua


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