The Wednesday morning attack occurred at Nduru division near Ijara, according to police.
“Eight people have been killed and houses burnt. We have nine others who have been taken to hospital with injuries,” a senior police officer in the region told Capital FM News.
The officer said those killed include people from the Orma and Pokomo rival communities, which have been at loggerheads since August last year when 100 people were killed.
The Kenya Red Cross flashed an alert on its Twitter handle with no casualty details. “Fresh Attacks in Tana Delta at Nduru Village. Disaster response team from Garsen hub deployed.”
There was no word from Coast Provincial Police chief Aggrey Adoli on the latest flare-up.
The two communities have been fighting over grazing fields but police have lately indicated the war is likely fuelled by local politicians ahead of the General Election due in March.
On December 21 last year, 45 people were shot and others hacked to death, prompting a visit to the region by newly appointed Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo and Internal Security Minister Katoo ole Metito.
“We will not sit back and watch politicians continue inciting communities to violence,” Metito warned during the December visit. “You will not be on the ballot paper if you continue with this.”
Kimaiyo confirmed Wednesday’s attack but did not offer much detail.
“We have been told of the attack this morning and we have sent our officers to the ground to establish what exactly happened and pursue the attackers,” the police chief said.
A disarmament exercise ordered by Kimaiyo (READ about his visit to Tana River) has been going on in the area since late last year but little is known of its progress.