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10 herders killed as communities clash over grazing land in drought-hit Kenya

AFP | Last Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 - 13:30

Nairobi: At least 10 people have been killed in the latest clashes in drought-hit Kenya between rural communities fighting over pasture to graze their animals, police said Monday.

Herders from the Borana and Samburu communities fought a gun battle on Sunday in an area in the centre of the country called Kom, where both groups had taken their livestock to graze, said Charles Ontita, police chief of the town of Isiolo.

He said 10 people were killed in the confrontation and two wounded, "but we have deployed more officers there".

The deaths come a week after 13 people were killed in the western Baringo region when Ilchamus and Pokot herdsmen clashed over grazing at an area called Mukutani.

On Sunday in Mukutani, four police officers were wounded when suspected Pokot herdsmen fired on their vehicle as they escorted members of the Ilchamus community to safety, according to Baringo police.

In response to the spreading violence in both parts of the country President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday announced the deployment of troops to Baringo and Laikipia regions.

Kenya, like elsewhere in the Horn of Africa, is suffering from drought, but with national elections due in August many suspect that politics is also at play in the recent violent confrontations.

First Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 - 13:30

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