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Tana attack death toll reaches nine

By - | Updated Wed, January 9th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Cyrus Ombati

TANA DELTA, KENYA: At least seven people were killed on Wednesday morning in fresh attacks in Nduru area, Tana River.

The incident happened after suspected Pokomo attackers raided an Orma village. Police say five Ormas and two Pokomos were killed but the death toll is expected to rise because there are several injuries.

Coast police boss Aggrey Adoli says they are yet to establish what triggered the fresh attacks.

"We have confirmed seven deaths so far but officers are on the ground trying to establish the cause," said Adoli.

Many suspect politics to be behind the attacks.

Tension remains high in the area following the dawn attacks.

Settled Pokomo farmers and semi-nomadic Orma pastoralists have clashed intermittently for years over access to grazing, farmland and water in the coastal region.

Apparently the attack came as contingents of police continued to patrol the area following the August and December clashes that killed more than 150 people including police officers.

More than 400 animals were killed then and houses torched in shocking attacks that saw President Kibaki impose a curfew in the area.

The victims were shot, hacked and burnt to death as the Pokomo and Orma tribes fought one another in a deadly dispute over Orma-owned cattle grazing on land the Pokomo say is theirs.

It happened as inspector general of police David Kimaiyo summoned a meeting in Nairobi to come up with strategies to address the menace, which has reoccurred in three months now leaving more than 150 people dead.

Pokomos and Ormas have in the past months been killing each other in retaliatory attacks that have attracted international attention and there are fears of more such incidents to continue to happen.