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Uhuru urges calm as Turkana toll rises to 22

02 November 2014, 16:03

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged calm in the Turkana region as bandits cause rampage, killing 22 security agents.

He urged police to take charge of the situation and ensure that guns are rid from that region and those that killed the slain officers brought to book.

A deadly ambush Friday on police killed 20 officers and two civilians, officials said Sunday.

The toll, given by a police official speaking on condition of anonymity, was sharply higher than a count of eight dead and 12 missing given Saturday, hours after the attack blamed on local tribesmen.

"Those who were missing are all dead," the senior police officer explained.

The ambush occurred during a security operation in Kapedo, in the arid and impoverished region of Lake Turkana that is prey to regular raids and score-settlings between rival communities.

Kenya police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi said late Saturday that a number of armed men had carried out the assault on the police officers early in the day.

Read also: Uhuru expected in Turkana after police massacre

Two years ago, more than 40 police officers who had been chasing cattle thieves were killed around 100 kilometres (60 miles) further north.

Last week, five people, including three police officers, were killed in another attack in the Kapedo area, according to police sources.

Diminishing water supplies and grazing areas have aggravated conflicts between communities in the area which is mainly populated by nomadic herders.

Local police are notoriously under-equipped and can find themselves outgunned because of increasing numbers of illegal firearms appearing in the area.

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