NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 28 – At least 28 people were killed and several others injured in renewed clashes in the Tana Delta on Friday morning, police said.
The Kenya Red Cross, however, placed the death toll at 30, saying 30 others were wounded, with 45 houses torched.
The attacks, coming after weeks of tension between rival Pokomo and Orma communities occurred at about 4am, according to police.
“We have 19 people killed, who are members of one of the two rival communities, while the nine others are attackers,” said Antony Kamitu, head of the GSU team sent there in August when skirmishes first broke out.
The attacks at Kipau village, within Tarassa Division. Police said some of those killed were shot or hacked when the attackers raided the village.
Bodies of the dead were strewn in the bushes and outside houses when police arrived on Friday morning.
“Some of those killed are women and children, it was a brutal attack,” a police officer who saw the bodies told Capital FM News from the scene.
There had been fresh animosity between the two communities, after one group accused the government of being partisan in an exercise to rid the region of illegal arms.
“There have been counter accusations between the two communities, with Pokomos claiming the government is not collecting arms from their Orma neighbours,” a police officer involved in a security operation there said.
“This other group has been mainly similar accusations against the other, that is where the problem started.”
“We have officers on the ground, including the GSU,” the officer said, although reports from the ground said tension remained high.
The clashes come four months after more than 100 people were killed in a dispute between the Orma and Pokomo neighbours over grazing rights.