48 Killed in Kenyan Land Dispute

Posted August 22nd, 2012 at 12:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Kenyan police are investigating a violent clash between two ethnic groups, in the eastern Tana River region, that left at least 48 people dead.

Police and residents say at least 100 members of the Pokomo clan raided a village inhabited by members of the Orma group, late Tuesday.

Investigators say some villagers were killed after attackers set homes on fire with the residents inside. At least 11 of those killed were children.

Authorities say the attack was linked to an ongoing dispute over land and water between the two groups.

A Nairobi deputy police spokesman (Charles Owino) told VOA (French to Africa) tensions have flared because the Pokomo are mostly farmers while the Orma raise cattle.

“The pastoralists try to use [the land] to graze their animals in the farms of the subsistence farmers. And this has caused a lot of problems and more so between the two tribes.”

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Police believe Tuesday's violence was a retaliatory attack for a dispute earlier this month that left two people dead.