Kwale, Kenya: At least 10 people were on Wednesday killed in tribal clashes between two pastoralist communities in Kinango, Kwale County, area residents said on Thursday.
Locals said eight Somali herdsmen and two Maasai have been killed since the conflict broke out on Tuesday, this week.
But Kwale County Commissioner maintained only four people had lost their lives.
Tension was high as both communities claimed grazing rights of the Kuranze ranch.
Yesterday police had been deployed as area political leaders called on security agents to disarm the communities.
"10 people have been killed; eight are from the Somali community and two are from the Maasai community. The war broke out on Wednesday and that is when eight were killed in a revenge mission," said a Maasai elder, Laibulu Kulei, who visited our Mombasa office.
Kwale County Commissioner Evans Achoki declined to divulge more information about the raging conflict but insisted that only four people had been killed, contradicting the locals' accounts.
"It is four and not 10 people who have been killed after the communities attacked each other. Police have been deployed to investigate the matter," he told The Standard on phone.
According to area Member of County Assembly James Dawa the fighting broke out after over 30 Maasai youths raided Kuranze to confront 16 Somali herdsmen who were grazing there.
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He said the Somali youths who were armed with crude weapons, including pangas, bows and arrows, killed one Maasai youth and repelled them.
Recently, elders from both communities had called on local administrators to solve the differences.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya has also called on police to disarm the pastoralists coming from Northern Kenya to graze their cattle in Kuranze and Mwabeja ranches in Kinango.