Resurgent clashes between rival communities in Kenya’s southeastern Tana River delta killed seven people and wounded dozens, Tana Delta District Commissioner David Kiprop said.
Six men and one woman were killed early today in Nduru village when about 100 armed men believed to be Pokomos, a farming community, attacked the rival Orma people, who are nomadic livestock herders, he said by mobile phone.
“Many others have sustained serious injuries and the death toll might rise,” Kiprop said. “We deployed security personnel to the affected area and also humanitarian workers from Kenya Red Cross are accompanying the security team.”
The guns used may have been taken from the nine police officers killed in a September attack, he said.
The spate of violence between the Pokomo and the Orma erupted in August in a dispute over grazing land and water, and at least 116 people died during four weeks of fighting. At least 39 died in a raid on Dec. 21.
Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, is scheduled on March 4 to hold its first national election since a disputed 2007 ballot erupted into violence that killed at least 1,100 and forced 350,000 more to flee their homes.
The United Nations says the Orma and Pokomo are jostling for power as constituency boundaries are redrawn and the introduction of a devolved system of government creates more political seats for people to fight over. President Mwai Kibaki in September fired a minister who was arrested on suspicion of instigating the attacks, and ordered a probe into the killings.
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