4 killed in 'retaliatory' bandit attack in Isiolo

Police at crime scene

County Police Commander Joseph Kigen and Merti Deputy County Commissioner Salim Bagana said police officers were deployed to the area to assess the situation.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Four people, among them a Form One student, were killed in a suspected retaliatory bandit attack at Urura village in Merti, Isiolo County on Friday.

Merti Sub-county Police Commander Habel Ogul said the incident took place near temporary shelters set up in Urura. He did not have more information.

County Police Commander Joseph Kigen and Merti Deputy County Commissioner Salim Bagana said police officers were deployed to the area to assess the situation. He said a full report would follow.

Reports indicated that a woman was shot and wounded in the incident at dawn by assailants who then fled. She was admitted to a local health facility.

Residents flee

It is believed that the attack - the second one in the area in five days - was by bandits from neighbouring Wajir County.

It comes three days after two men were ambushed and killed by five armed bandits while riding on a motorcycle between Urura and Lafe centres in Cherab Ward, near Urura borehole.

Following the attack, residents fled for safety, leaving the village deserted.

Isiolo Speaker Hussein Roba asked leaders from both sides to join hands in preaching peace between the warring communities.

While the attack pits two communities living along the Isiolo-Wajir border, the two incidents happened on the Isiolo side, the previous one over 50 kilometres from the border in Merti.

Mr Roba called on security agencies from both counties to intensify patrols and track down suspects so that they are punished according to the law.

“We (leaders) should find ways of promoting business between communities living along the borders, so as to end the perennial attacks that have claimed many lives,” he said.

Grazing conflicts

Mr Roba accused Wajir residents of invading the county in search of pasture and water without seeking permission,  thereby sparking conflicts.

The two attacks come barely two weeks after a herdsman from Wajir was shot dead in the same area.

Two months before, a herdsman from the same county was killed in an attack near the Urura watering point believed to have been prompted by a fight for control of the natural resource.

Early last November, two people from Bassa in Isiolo were shot and injured by suspected bandits from the neighbouring county following clashes over a grazing field.

Isiolo MPs are set to visit the area to meet with elders and find a lasting solution to the problems.

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