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Two people killed in renewed banditry attack in West Pokot

By Stephen Rutto | Published Fri, October 12th 2018 at 11:06, Updated October 12th 2018 at 11:10 GMT +3

Two people including a seven-year-old boy were shot dead in a renewed banditry attack in West Pokot and unknown number of livestock driven away by the armed assailants.

The raiders suspected to be from Marakwet East stormed Chemisto village, Sigor constituency on Thursday afternoon, barely three days after members of the Pokot and Marakwet communities made a truce where they declared they would live in peace.

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County commissioners and leaders from West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties were holding a meeting with 50 reformed bandits in Turkwel when the attack was happening.

The former bandits surrendered to security agencies on Monday and pledged to lead efforts to restore calm on the border of the two counties.

In the Thursday attack, Pokot Central OCPD Were Simiyu said 60-year-old man was herding his livestock while the school boy playing outside their Chemisto Village home when the bandits struck.

Mr Simiyu said that the attackers drove away tens of livestock towards Kipchumwa location of Marakwet East sub-county.

He said one person was seriously injured during the raid.

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“The police are now in hot pursuit of the bandits. We are yet to establish the exact number of cows, sheep and goats stolen during the raid,” Simiyu said.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Commissioner Dr Ahmed Omar said it was disturbing that the attack happened at a time when warring communities are being reconciled.

Dr Omar said Chiefs in Marakwet East where the bandits are suspected to be hiding in have been ordered to identify the criminals.

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“It is unfortunate that innocent people have been killed when we are in the process of making a lasting peace. This time, we are hopeful that the suspects will be arrested because they are known by residents,” said Dr Omar.

He said a contingent of police officers and national police reservists have been deployed hunt down the suspects in their hideouts.

“We are certain of recovering the stolen livestock by today (Saturday) and possibly arrest the culprits,” Omar said.

He said bandits that recently abandoned cattle rustling will also help in identifying and reforming other cattle rustlers.

Marakwet East leaders led by Embobut/Embolot MCA Paul Kibet said the attack is aimed at undermining ongoing peace efforts in the region.

“It is saddening that some criminals are causing tension at a time when reformed bandits are being supported to become ambassadors of peace,” Kibet said.

He told security agencies to immediately suspects to prevent retaliatory attacks that may increase tension in areas bordering the two counties.

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