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Govt deploys security forces in troubled spots in northern region

05 December 2013, 15:06

Marsabit - The government said Thursday it has deployed more security forces at troubled spots in the northern region.

Cabinet Secretary for Interior Joseph Ole Lenku said the police have been given fire instructions to pursue the bandits involved in criminal activities in four northern counties.

"The government also wishes to reassure Kenyans that the government is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that security is maintained in all parts of the country especially as we approach the festive season," Lenku said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He called on Kenyans to remain vigilant and promptly report to the authorities any suspicious incidents or person that may threaten security.

"The need for personal vigilance is more so during the approaching festive season when crime and incidents of insecurity tend to heighten," he said.

The statement came after at least 12 people were killed and five others injured in Marsabit County in clashes between two rival militias.

Marsabit County Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru confirmed that armed militia from Borana communities engaged their rivals from Burji and Gabra for more than four hours at Olale area Odha location in Marsabit.

"It's difficult to establish the number of those killed because the militias escaped with their victims and those killed from the scene of the incident," Nakoru said on Wednesday.

Thousands of families, mostly women, children and the elderly, have fled the border town, following alleged rumors of impending retaliation.

The clashes between the Borana on one side and the Gabra, Burji and Garre on the other have taken a new shape with politicians accused of having a hand in the ethnic conflict.

Lenku said police officers who were heading from Lomero to Lokori where they had gone to deliver food rations to their fellow colleagues were ambushed on Wednesday on the way by armed bandits believed to be Pokots from Baringo East district.

"An exchange of fire ensued and as a result, a lady who had been given a lift by the officers and who happened to be the wife of a Chief was shot dead. Two officers were injured and one Kenya police reservist was also seriously injured," he said.

"Following this incident, the National Police Service has mounted an operation with a view to restoring security in the area and bringing the culprits to book," he said.

The area has experienced sporadic conflicts for sometime now between the warring communities, but the conflict escalated on Thursday leading to a number of people getting injured, including the burning of vehicles and other acts of lawlessness.

"The police swung into action and as a result, 20 looters were arrested and an assortment of goods recovered. The police are pursuing other criminals and it is expected that more arrests will be made in the next few days," Lenku said.

He said the government has also intensified security operations in Moyale and neighboring regions to restore security, law and order.

- Xinhua


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