Isiolo County police commander Charles Ontita on Monday confirmed that a gun battle between two pastoralist communities competing for grazing killed no fewer than 10 people in northern Kenya on Sunday morning.
Mr. Ontita said that armed cattle herders from Isiolo and Samburu counties fought over grazing access along the two county borders,
“Ten bodies have been recovered from the scene. Scores of people sustained gunshots wounds,” Mr. Ontita said during a press briefing at his office.
He said that Sunday’s violence took place further to the east, at Kom, 100 kms (62 miles) northeast from the town of Isiolo.
Mr. Ontita said extra police and paramilitary forces had been sent to Kom.
Northern Kenya is suffering a severe drought, which has worsened competition for grazing and water holes.
Some residents say local politicians are fuelling the violence in an effort to win votes from particular ethnic blocs in national elections scheduled for August.
On Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced he was sending troops to the northern regions of Laikipia and Baringo.
Both have suffered a string of deadly attacks in recent months as armed cattle herders searching for grazing have driven cattle onto private farms and ranches.
At least 15 people have already been killed in clashes along the border between Isiolo and neighbouring Marissa County in the past month. (Reuters/NAN)