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10 killed in cattle raid in Kenya

afrol News, 1 September - At least 10 people were killed and several others wounded in Kenya's northern district of Turkana by suspected cattle rustlers from Toposa, southern Sudan on Saturday.

According to local administrators, raiders armed with AK-47 rifles have struck Mogila area in Lokichogio division and stole 732 animals.

Turkana North District Commissioner Jack Obuo confirmed the deaths and said they will ascertain extent of the raids.

"I am on the ground with other security officers to ascertain what is going on but the minister will issue a statement about the recent raids," Obuo said on Sunday.

Tension was high in the area on Sunday as contingents of heavily armed police officers pursued raiders. "It appeared they crossed over to Ethiopia but we are still pursuing them," a senior police officer said.

Eight of those killed were area residents who were shot by alleged cattle rustlers at about midday on Saturday while the other two were raiders who were shot and seriously wounded during the confrontation.

Those wounded were admitted to local hospital where two of them were treated and discharged.

"We have intensified security patrols in the region to avert more cattle raids, but we have not recovered the stolen animals," said a police officer involved in the operation.

Two weeks ago, 11 people were killed in a raid carried out in a Manyatta in Nakalese village the same district. Eight of those killed were Toposa raiders from southern Sudan who were shot by police reservists while three of them were Turkana pastoralists.

The raiders drove away 4,500 herd of cattle during dawn raid in Moite village, Laisamis district.

Cases of cattle raids to North and North East of Rift Valley have been rampant where pastoralists also fight over scarce national resources such as water and pasture.

Cattle raids in Turkana's northern, southern and central districts have been rampant in the past weeks.

Last Thursday, Turkana pastoralists wrote a protest letter to Prof Saitoti on increasing insecurity in three districts of Turkana North, Central and South districts.

The pastoralists through Riam Riam Peace Network, an organisation which champions for peace in the area said more than 127 people had been killed in the area in the last five years.

The secretary of the organisation, Mr Lucas Ariong claimed that the deaths were through Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) bombings and cross border raids.

He said 81 of the deaths were through UPDF bombings and wanted state to intervene. He claimed that seven people were missing while 41 had been maimed by soldiers' bombs in the process, while others were forcefully evicted from their homes - manyattas in the district along Kenya/Uganda border where soldiers patrol is in constant fear.

Mr Ariong said the pastoralists have been bombed on three occasions in Uganda and Kenya. He said one of the bombings was done in Kanyag'agiro in Uganda while the other two were done in Nakwanye and Morutorong along Kenya/Uganda border. He also claimed that 10, 61 and 10 were killed respectively in the incidents, while six thousand and 74 cows, 150 camels and 1,170 sheep and goats had been stolen in the process.

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