9 February 2013

Kenya: Nine Killed in Turkana Village Raid

Tension is high in Turkana after nine people were yesterday killed when heavily armed bandits raided a village in Turkana South. Among the dead are three women and two children. The raid took place on the border between Pokot and Turkana counties.

The DC, Elijah Kodo, said two men from the Turkana community and one of the raiders were killed when the bandits raided Kaptir village and stole 2,500 goats. Three other people were injured in the raid.

Kodo said police were immediately deployed to track down the attackers. School and government institutions facilities were shut down as most people fled from the area fearing further attacks.

"There was a heavy exchange of fire between the raiders and police officers and Kenya police reservists," said Kodo. The DC said the raiders escaped with the animals.

He said the raiders shot at women and children as they fled the attack. Kodo and police boss John Bosco Mutu visited the area and said GSU and Anti-Stock Theft Unit officers had been sent to fend off the attackers. Mutu said he suspected the raiders were Pokots.

Turkana herders armed themselves for revenge attacks against the Pokots, but police kept vigil along the boundary to prevent any skirmishes. The latest attacks came just days after bandits killed three police officers and six people in Baringo county.

The government has since opened five GSU and police camps in Baringo to help fight cattle rustling. Extra vehicles have been supplied to police officers in the region. Last week, nine people including three police officers, three civilians and three bandits were killed.

Baringo county commissioner Bernard Leparamarai said the government has sent in an additional 100 officers. Chiefs in the bandit prone areas have complained that the number of police officers deployed is not enough to effectively deal with the cattle rustlers. The chiefs said they should also be given arms just like the police reservists.

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