18 killed in Turkana cattle raid

May 3, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 3 – At least 18 people were killed in Turkana district early on Tuesday morning by suspected militiamen from neighbouring Ethiopia.

Police said those majority of those killed were cattle herders who were attacked at Todonyang area by Merile militiamen.

"We have indeed received the report of 18 people who were killed at Todonyang area early this morning, they are mostly cattle herders who were attacked near Lake Turkana," a senior police officer at Police headquarters said on Tuesday.

"We had earlier received reports of up to 40 people killed, but the team dispatched there has only been able to confirm 18.  We don\’t know where people are getting the figure of 40 from," the officer said.

During the incident which occurred at about 5am, thousands of cattle were stolen and several families displaced.

"Our officers are trying to get in touch with two people who escaped the attack to get to know what happened, the reports we have is that those killed were shot, and others hacked to death," he added.

Turkana Central Member of Parliament Ekwe Ethuro raised the matter in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon where he said up to 35 people had been killed.

"Militias from the neighbouring country attacked pastoralists grazing cattle at Todonyang area of Turkana County. Over 35 of them were reportedly killed and thousands others displaced, I would like the minister to confirm the number of casualties and those displaced," the legislator said while seeking a statement from the Internal Security Ministry.

The legislator further demanded to know the measures put in place to curb the rising cases of insecurity in the region.

"What permanent security measures is the minister putting in place to ensure these kind of incidents do not occur?" the legislator demanded.

Internal Security Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode was directed by House Speaker Kenneth Marende to issue a statement in Parliament on Tuesday next week.

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