Bandit attack leaves 5 dead in northwest Kenya

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Elgeyo Marakwet county in South Eastern Kenya
The Kerio River in northwest Kenya’s Elgeyo Marakwet county. The valley is often the site of armed clashes between herders and bandits. (Creative Commons / P. Ngobiro)

Five people were on Tuesday afternoon killed and four others injured in a fierce gun battle between cattle raiders and herders at the troubled Kerio Valley region, northwest Kenya, police said.

Locals said a group of bandits invaded villages in an attempt to steal cattle in the Kaben location, prompting a fierce exchange of fire during the midday incident.

Elgeyo Marakwet police commander Patrick Lumumba said the fighting at a grazing field lasted for nearly two hours before security forces intervened and repulsed the bandits. “As a result, five bandits were killed while four herders were injured and rushed to hospital,” said Lumumba.

Lumumba said officers were still combing the troubled region to calm the situation. He said the deaths occurred during the gunfight between the police and the armed bandits, noting that no livestock was stolen during the clash.

The attack comes barely a week after the government ordered bandits to surrender firearms and stolen livestock.

The killings bring to 12 the number of the death toll arising from banditry attacks in Kerio Valley since last month.

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