At least 8 killed, 4 injured in Isiolo clashes
12 November 2014, 08:05
Isiolo - At least eight people were killed and four others seriously injured on Tuesday in inter- communal clashes in Isiolo County.
Isiolo County Commissioner Wanyama Musiambo confirmed the clashes, and said the inter-communal fighting which involved feuding Samburu and Turkana herdsmen at a border area, was sparked by a grazing land at around midday.
"The herdsmen from Samburu community engaged Turkana warriors in gun battle, killing eight people and seriously injuring four others," Musiambo told Xinhua by telephone.
He said efforts to contain the clashes were not easy as Samburu herdsmen were well armed. "The two communities engaged in gun fight for hours before the police could intervene. The injured had bullet wounds and were rushed to the hospital but two others are in serious condition," Musiambo said.
The government administrator said the killings occurred at Leruko on Isiolo side, a few meters from the bridge that connects Isiolo's Buffalo Springs game reserve with Samburu Park.
He suspected that the Samburus were on a revenge mission since two people from Samburu County were killed within the game park side where the rustling incident took place.
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"Initial efforts to repulse the Samburu fighters were fruitless since they were fully armed. We have sent heavy police reinforcement in the area to avert any further clashes in the area, " Musiambo said.
Isiolo police Commander Nelson Okionga said they have launched investigations to establish the cause of the clashes which have again sparked tension between the two rival communities. "We have sent a contingent of police officers on the ground to help restore normalcy and prevent any further attacks in the area, " Okionga said.
In Kenya, land conflicts are major cause of bloodshed where in some instances they erupt with a ferocity and mind-numbing regularity, as they assume an ethnic angle.
Inter-communal clashes in northern Kenya between herding communities living on the border with Ethiopia have killed hundreds and displaced thousands in recent months in reprisal attacks linked to rivalry over pasture and cattle rustling.
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