10 killed in third day of Meru-Isiolo border conflicts

A motorist at the scene of the violence on the Meru-Isiolo border. [Peter Muthomi, Standard]

 

A motorist at the scene of the violence on the Meru-Isiolo border. [Peter Muthomi, Standard]

Seven more people were killed yesterday along the Meru-Isiolo border.

This brings to 10 the number of fatalities in the border clashes the area has suffered since Saturday.

Sources from Kinna in Isiolo South said two young men ferrying goats on a motorbike to Kiotene market in Igembe North were attacked and killed.

The attackers took off with the goats and the motorbike.

A third man from neighouring Isiolo County was attacked by a mob as he tried to sell his goats at the market.

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Simmering tensions

Police rescued the man and took him to a Maua hospital, but he died while undergoing treatment.

Tensions remained high in the area, prompting the Isiolo county authorities to move the bodies from the Maua hospital mortuary to Isiolo yesterday, saying the relatives of the deceased would have to risk their lives using the Maua-Garbatula road to retrieve them.

One of the dead man was identified as Kanchora Denge, 70, while the owner of the stolen motorcycle was identified as Ismail Omar Ilalo.

Yesterday, the Red Cross central regional manager Gitonga Mugambi said the violence began again when four youths were shot as they transported milk on the Maua-Garbayulla road. Their motorbikes were stolen.

Stabbed to death

In retaliation, the residents on the Meru side of the border attacked traders from Isiolo at Kiutine market and stabbed three to death.

Some houses were burned in Ithika, Mpeketoni, Kinanduba, Kathucine, Ntuki, and Malaene, displacing 20 families.

Those displaced are camping at Kathithine Primary School as Red Cross officials appealed for calm.

In Gambela area, Tigania East, residents believe the attacks were in retaliation for an attempted stock theft.

 

In the first incident, a herdsman, Eyanae Alenu, was ambushed by suspected cattle rustlers and killed and his firearm stolen.

In retaliation, his kinsmen attacked the man they thought had attacked the herdsman and hacked him to death.

A witness said the attackers killed a charcoal burner whose name he gave as Kariithi, 40, but whom he said was caught in the crossfire as he went about his business in the bush.

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When they realised that they killed the wrong person, the herdsmen went on with their revenge mission and killed another man, bringing the death toll to three.

Hours after the killings were reported, a team of attackers raided the area and stole livestock.

James Mwenda, whose 180 goats were stolen, reported the matter to Gambela police post.

Gunshot wounds

Tigania East OCPD Samuel Kosgey told The Standard on the phone that police had recovered three bodies that had gunshot wounds.

“We were able to recover 159 goats. Investigations are still going on,” he said.

He added that the recent killings might not be related to livestock rustling.

“Of late people have been killed in the area and no livestock stolen,” he said. 

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