Panic grips Kerio Valley as Saturday attack claims 8 lives

Two of the eight killed were children aged 12 and 15 years

File image of a police vehicle at a crime scene

Two children are among eight people who were killed on Saturday afternoon in a bandit attack in Kerio Valley.

According to Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Mohamed Maalim, Pokot herders were ambushed at the Siromet grazing with suspected members of the Marakwet faction making away with an unnumbered herd of livestock.

“The attack happened at 3:00 p.m. after herders from the Pokot community, among them minors took, their livestock to Siromet grazing field in Kibaimwa location in Marakwet East, when they were ambushed and attacked by armed criminals from the Marakwet community, who also made away with an unknown number of livestock,” Maalim reported.

Gunfire exchanges left eight dead while scores were injured with panic now gripping the volatile area.

On February 18, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the government was going to apply a new force to the Pokot cattle rustlers, who he said had gone beyond cattle rustling.

The CS said the government was going to categorize the Pokot warriors in the same group as the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC).

“I am going to seek authorization from the National Security Council to declare the Pokot movement and the Pokot warriors an outlawed organization and we will categorize them the same way we categorized Momabasa Republican Council (MRC). We are going to apply a new level of force and fire to wipe out that organization," he stated.

Matiang’i was speaking after an attack on a school bus left 13 students injured. The attack was followed by another one on a primary school teacher who was shot and killed as he came from a Sunday church service.

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET) secretary general Akello Misori has said the teachers located in the volatile areas will not report to schools if the situation is not mitigated.

Misori insisted that not even the national examinations will force the teachers to be in these insecure areas noting that they are not against the government but the security is wanting.

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