News / Africa

Death Toll Rises in Kenya Tribal Attacks

Police officers stand guard following a fresh attack at Kipao village in Tana River district in Kenya's coastal Tana Delta region, December 22, 2012.
Police officers stand guard following a fresh attack at Kipao village in Tana River district in Kenya's coastal Tana Delta region, December 22, 2012.
VOA News
Authorities in Kenya say the death toll from new tribal clashes in the southeastern Tana River region has risen to 45.

A local police official says the clashes started before dawn Friday, when a group of ethnic Pokomo, armed with spears and firearms, raided a village belonging to the Orma people. 

The Kenya Red Cross says 13 children and six women were among those killed in the attack on Kipao village.  At least 45 houses were set on fire.

The White House on Saturday condemned the renewed violence "in the strongest terms."  A statement voiced sympathy for families that lost loved ones in the violence and urged the Kenyan government, police and tribal leaders to end the deadly cycle of conflict.

Authorities say dozens of people were arrested in the aftermath of the attacks, and say police are pursuing them.

  • Villagers and police view the bodies of suspected attackers from the Pokomo tribe, following tribal clashes in Kipao village in the Tana River Delta region of southeastern Kenya Dec. 21, 2012.
  • Members of the Kenya Red Cross carry an injured man after an attack in his village at Tana River district.
  • At least 39 people including men, women, children, and attackers, were killed when farmers from the Pokomo tribe, armed with spears and AK-47 rifles, raided a village of semi-nomadic Orma herders early Friday, according to a police official.
  • Paramedics at the Malindi district hospital attend to a child injured when their community members were attacked at Tana River district in Kenya's coastal Tana Delta region December 21 2012.
  • Children injured during an attack in their village in Tana River district receive treatment inside a ward at the Malindi district hospital December 21, 2012.
  • An injured woman is treated at the district hospital in Malindi Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, following tribal clashes in Kipao village in the Tana River Delta.
  • A villager armed with a spear walks past Kenyan police sent to keep order following tribal clashes in Kipao village in the Tana River Delta region of southeastern Kenya.
  • A villager walks away armed with a spear after viewing the bodies of suspected attackers from the Pokomo tribe, not pictured, following tribal clashes in Kipao village in the Tana River Delta region.

The two groups have waged a series of deadly attacks and counter-attacks as part of an ongoing dispute over land and water.

Earlier this year, more than 100 people were killed in clashes between Pokomo farmers, and the Orma, who are mainly herders.

More than 1,100 people were killed in violent attacks after Kenya's 2007 election, and the United Nations says some of the new violence may be related to rising tensions ahead of general elections set for March 2013.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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