11 January 2013

Kenya: 12 Killed in Tana Attack

More than 12 people died and seven others injured when a group of more than 150 heavily-armed raiders attacked Kibusu village in the Tana Delta.

Among the dead were five children, two women and five men. Some had gun shot wounds while others burnt beyond recognition. About 22 houses were burnt down and and scores of people are still missing.

The raiders who were allegedly armed with AK47 rifles, arrows, bows and spears ambushed the village at 7am and began torching houses and shooting at women and children.

The attack came a day after 13 people were killed in Nduru village of the Orma community. A 74-year-old woman and her two young grandchildren and great grandchildren were burnt beyond recognition inside a hut while a middle-aged mother with her two-and-a half-year old child had been shot outside their house.

The attackers shot a standard eight candidate who was cutting firewood in the back. Another 70-year-old woman who locals said was blind was shot in the head while trying to crawl to a hideout.

A pupil who was on the way to school was shot in the head. Daniel Kokani said he was with his wife and child when the attack happened.

"I fled and shouted back at my wife to follow me but she did not make it," he said. "I heard her shout in pain then she went silent." Esther Hadhidhe whose brother was shot while fetching firewood said she was preparing breakfast when they were attacked.

"I hid inside the house but could not call my brother because of the short time, they have killed him," she said amid sobs. Security officers were dispatched to pursue the attackers while others kept guard at the scene led by GSU commander of the Tana Delta operations Rondald Opili.

"The officers are in the forest conducting a major operation to get the attackers," he said. The GSU commander said the terrain is a major challenge.

He urged the locals to embrace peace. "The locals should drop arms and end this violence. It will be difficult for troops to end it without the support of the warring communities," he said

Michael Alyabeyi, Red Cross disaster management coordinator at the Coast said they referred one survivour with serious burns to Malindi. The other six were treated and are in stable condition. The attackers are believed to be from the Orma community.

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