Eight people were shot dead and two others injured in a suspected bandit attack in Yell Kurkum village in Marsabit County.
Seven of the victims, including three children, died on the spot while the other succumbed while receiving treatment at a local health centre in Laisamis.
Interim Marsabit County Commissioner David Saruni told the Nation that about 15 gunmen walked away with an unknown number of livestock during the Thursday dawn attack.
“We have already deployed enough officers to pursue the criminals and recover the stolen animals,” Mr Saruni said, adding that the motive of the attack remains unknown.
Tension continues to build up in the area which has in the recent past borne the brunt of insecurity.
Local leaders led by Governor Mohammud Ali and Senator Mohammed Chute condemned the killings and called for the deployment of more officers to troubled areas for improved security.
Condoling the bereaved families, Mr Ali said urgent measures must be introduced to avert similar attacks in the future saying the county had in the recent past witnessed relative calm.
“We appeal to the government to quickly contain the situation so that we do not get back to where we were. Our people must also coexist peacefully because no development can be achieved without peace,” the governor said.
Mr Chute said the State should walk the talk on tackling banditry and not continue pronouncements.
“We want to see actions and not declarations,” he appealed.
The leaders also appealed to the security agencies to speedily arrest the criminals and recover the stolen animals saying cattle rustling was impoverishing local residents who are predominantly pastoralists.
Mr Saruni warned local residents against retaliatory attack, assuring that the government was doing everything possible to arrest the criminals and recover the animals.
The attack comes a week after three people were shot dead in an attack in Ileret.
The prolonged drought which has seen water sources dry up and pastures depleted has aggravated the situation with pastoralist communities on the move in search of water and grass for their animals.
The proliferation of illegal firearms has also been blamed for the banditry attacks even as authorities maintain that all guns in the wrong hands must be surrendered to the State.