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Security beefed up in Turkana following bandit attack

05 May 2015, 16:13

Turkana - Authorities said Tuesday security has been beefed up along the restive Turkana- Pokot border in northwest region after raiders killed 46 people and left several others wounded.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Osman Warfa who confirmed the deaths said the incident took place on Monday after a raid by bandits believed to be from Turkana on a village in Nadome area on the Turkana-East Pokot border.

"The attack took place in Nadome village which is not accessible but the raiders escaped after the murder. They also stole unknown number of animals," Warfa said by telephone.

Rift Valley regional police commander Gideon Amalla said security has been deployed in the clash-hit region to help bring normalcy in the region.

"We are heading to the scene to help establish the exact number of people killed on Monday. There were some murders but I cannot ascertain the figure until I reach the scene," Amalla told Xinhua by telephone.

He said a contingent of Kenya Defence Forces and police officers have been deployed to restore calm and pursue the attackers who made away with cattle. Amalla said an unknown number of animals were taken by the Turkana raiders.

Residents said the attack by the Turkana raiders was retaliation after Pokot rustlers attacked a village in Baringo and stole 100 goats.

Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) said 15 people were killed - eight people were killed at Lomirok village on Sunday while six were killed at Sarima village on Monday - at the Samburu-Marsabit border.

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 as they pursued Pokot raiders in Kapedo, an attack, seen as the worst on police officers. 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 eastern 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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