39 hacked to death in Kenya tribal violence

Updated 22 December 2012
0

39 hacked to death in Kenya tribal violence

NAIROBI: At least 39 people including women and children were hacked to death and their homes set ablaze in an attack Friday on a remote village in Kenya’s southeastern coastal region, where deadly tribal violence also erupted earlier this year.
Police attributed the killings to a disarmament operation that stoked long-simmering tensions between rival communities in the Tana river delta area, but they could also be linked to the March election, the first since Kenya was gripped by deadly violence after the December 2007 vote.
The raid on Kipao village in the Tana delta in the early hours “unleashed terror” on the inhabitants, who were hacked as their huts were set on fire, police said.
39 people were killed in all — 30 villagers and nine assailants.
Pictures posted on the Twitter feed of the Red Cross, which said earlier that 30 people had been killed, showed the charred walls of mud huts still standing, their thatched roofs reduced to nothing.
“I can confirm 39 people have been killed early this morning, during tribal clashes,” Coast province police chief Aggrey Adoli told AFP. “Thirteen are children, six women and 11 men all from the Orma community. The other nine are militiamen from the Pokomo community.”
He said police are still hunting for the killers of the villagers, who are from the Orma tribe and are mainly herders.
The Red Cross said its rescue teams were tending to the wounded, some 30 of whom were in a critical condition. It gave no total figure for the number of people injured.
A reporter who visited some of the hospitals which took in the injured said he saw people mostly suffering machete wounds.
In August and September more than 100 people were killed in violence between rival communities living along the Tana river, whose muddy red waters are flanked by dense vegetation.
Police were unable to stop the violence between the Orma and the Pokomo — who are mainly farmers — and some 10 officers were killed. Around 1,000 men from the special police forces had to be deployed to restore order.
Relations have long been fraught between the two communities, with conflicts flaring intermittently over access to land and water points. Observers who saw the violence in August and September however said the raids were very well organized and some of them involved militia from other areas.
Tensions resurfaced in the past few days during a disarmament operation.
“There has been tension in the last two days over an order to have communities surrender arms, some were feeling the government was lenient on one side,” a police source said.
But the violence could also be linked to the March 4 election, as Kenyans normally vote along ethnic lines and if a significant number of people were forced out of the region it could have an impact on results there.
Kenyans are set to choose a successor to President Mwai Kibaki, who is not running again, as well as new lawmakers, governors and local officials.
The last elections in December 2007 were followed by the worst outbreak of violence Kenya has seen since independence, shattering the country’s image as a beacon of regional stability. The unrest killed at least 1,100 people and displaced more than 600,000.
Traditionally however, violence linked to elections has tended to take place before the actual polls.
Two presidential running mates, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, 51, and his deputy, ex-minister William Ruto, 45, must stand trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for their alleged role in the 2007-08 unrest.


Boko Haram raid kills five in Nigeria: residents

Updated 17 min 37 sec ago
0

Boko Haram raid kills five in Nigeria: residents

  • A Boko Haram raid and suicide attack in Tungushe village killed at least five
  • Boko Haram regularly uses suicide bombers, mostly women and young girls, to target areas with civilians

KANO: At least five people were killed and six others injured in a night-time Boko Haram raid and suicide attack on a village in northeastern Nigeria, residents told AFP on Saturday.
A male suicide bomber detonated his explosives among a group of residents sleeping in the open in Tungushe village in Borno state at about 12:15 am (2315 GMT Friday).
The blast was followed by indiscriminate gunfire from Boko Haram militants lurking in the dark, said Mustapha Muhammad, a civilian militia leader in the area.
“Five people have been killed and six others injured in the attack,” Muhammad said by telephone from the village, which lies six kiometers (nearly four miles) north of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.
Tungushe resident Umara Kyari, who gave a similar casualty toll, said the attackers torched eight thatched houses and three vehicles before stealing about 100 cows.
“Fortunately all the cows returned to the village,” said Kyari. “I think the attackers are not used to herding cows and could not control them.”
Boko Haram regularly uses suicide bombers, mostly women and young girls, to target mosques, schools, bus stations and military locations.
Its nine-year armed violence to establish a hard-line Islamic state in remote northeastern Nigeria has killed more than 20,000 people.
Suicide attacks have increased in Borno state recently, prompting the military commander fighting the militants to offer a five-million-naira ($13,900) reward for information on bomb-making factories in the region.
On June 16, six young girls killed 43 people in suicide attacks in the town of Damboa, 80 kilometers southwest Maiduguri.
On Wednesday, 15 people were injured when two female suicide bombers targeted a market on the edge of a military base in the city.
Nigeria’s army said troops on patrol in the Mafa area, east of Maiduguri, had come across “pockets of fleeing Boko Haram terrorists” on Friday.
“The gallant troops... overpowered the terrorists, killing even of them and recovered weapons,” it said on Twitter on Saturday.
The insurgents are believed to have carried out an attack in Zabarmari village, also in the Mafa area, on Thursday, according to a civilian militia source.