8 Killed In Latest Kenyan Tribal Clashes

Posted January 9th, 2013 at 12:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Police in Kenya say at least eight people have been killed in the latest tribal unrest to hit the Tana River region.

Raiders from the Pokomo community attacked an Orma community village with guns and machetes before dawn Wednesday.

Initial reports say six Orma and two Pokomo were killed.

One local youth says members of his group killed two of the attackers in self defense.

“It was a very big group of youths and some of them were sporting red bands on their heads and wrists,” he said. “It was a coordinated attack and when we realized that they had surrounded our village we armed ourselves and decided to defend the perimeter. They killed six of us in the process and we killed two of the attackers.”

A Kenya Red Cross volunteer says nine people were injured in the fighting, including a child.

Intermittent fighting between the groups has killed more than 130 people since August.

The two groups have been at odds for years over land and water rights. The Pokomo are farmers, while the Orma raise cattle.

But the violence has raised fears that local politicians have deepened the rift, in hopes of benefiting in Kenya's March 4 elections.

Kenya was gripped by weeks of riots and ethnic fighting after the disputed 2007 presidential poll. The violence in early 2008 killed more than 1,100 people.