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Deadly reprisal raid in Kenya's Tana delta

Ten people killed, according to local Red Cross, just one day after another deadly raid in southeastern Kenya.
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2013 14:20
The attack came just one day after another raid in the delta region left nine people dead [Reuters]

At least 10 people have been killed in a dawn raid in Kenya's Tana River delta region, the latest violence to flare up in an area where scores died in clashes last year, according to the Red Cross.

The attack came a day after nine other people were killed in a raid.

"There are 10 dead and two critically wounded, with gunshot wounds, machete cuts and burns," a local Red Cross official, Caleb Kilunde, told the AFP news agency on Thursday.

Violence in the region first erupted in August, pitting the Pokomo farming community against their Orma pastoralist neighbours and leading to a series of vicious reprisal killings and attacks that left more than 150 people dead.

The repeated outbreaks of violence also raise concerns over security and a lack of police capacity in volatile areas ahead of elections due on March 4.

Aggrey Adoli, regional police chief, confirmed the renewed violence, admitting that there was "a problem in the area", and that tensions were high.

Thursday's attacks on the Pokomo village of Kibusu, which also left 19 homes burnt, follows a dawn attack on Wednesday by over 100 raiders on the Orma village of Nduru, in which nine people died.

The two villages are approximately 20km from each other, with Kibusu lying just 5km from a police road block.

Clashes ongoing

Large numbers of security forces were deployed in the region following attacks last year, but the clashes have continued.

The two communities have fought in the past, violence that has often been attributed to disputes over water and grazing rights.

But the scale and intensity of recent killings, with women and children hacked to death or torched in their huts, have shocked many, with some locals accusing politicians of fuelling the attacks.

In December at least 45 people were killed in one attack.

The upcoming March 4 elections are for the presidency and parliament, as well as for regional gubernatorial posts and local councils. The run-up to the vote has been marked by renewed tensions both at the national political and grassroots levels.

Elections five years ago descended into deadly post-poll killings that shattered Kenya's image as a beacon of regional stability, with at least 1,100 people killed and more than 600,000 displaced.

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Source:
AFP
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