At least eight killed in Kenya tribal violence: police
Wednesday, 09 January 2013
NAIROBI: At least eight people were killed and several wounded in the latest outbreak of violence in the Tana River region of southeast Kenya, where scores died in repeated clashes last year, police said Wednesday.
"Eight people have been killed and houses burnt," a senior police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding that nine others were wounded and had been taken to hospital.
Kenya's Red Cross confirmed there had been "fresh attacks" overnight at Nduru village in the Tana River delta area adding that it had sent teams to the area, but at present could not confirm exact casualties.
Violence in the region first erupted in August, pitting the Pokomo farming community against their Orma pastoralist neighbours, leading to a series of vicious reprisal killings and attacks.
The police officer said those killed included both members of the Ormas and Pokomo, taking the number of those killed since the clashes began last year to more than 140.
The two communities have clashed 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 -- has shocked many, with some locals accusing politicians are fuelling the spate of attacks.
In December at 45 people were killed in an attack.
The repeated outbreaks of violence also raises concerns over security and a lack of police capacity in volatile areas ahead of elections due on March 4.
Elections five years ago descended into deadly post-poll killings that shattered Kenya's image as a beacon of regional stability.
The upcoming elections are for the presidency and parliament, as well as for regional gubernatorial posts and local councils. (AFP)