Fishermen butchered by suspected Tanzanian pirates in Homa Bay

One of the fishermen said he survived by swimming away from the attackers after being hit with crude weapons.[Standard]
Two fishermen were killed Sunday while one sustained serious injuries when they were attacked by pirates in Lake Victoria.

Naftali Okoth, 29, and George Ochieng’, 26, of Ringiti island, Suba North sub-county met their death near Rukuba beach in the border of Kenyan and Tanzanian waters.

“The pirates are suspected to have come from Tanzania,” a survivor of the attack, Kevin Onyuka said.

Ringiti Beach Management Unit chairman Benard Odhiambo said trouble began when the pirates demanded the fishermen’s boat engine and fishing gears.

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“The fishermen declined, prompting the pirates to pounce on them with crude weapons, They (fishermen) were later overpowered,” he said.

Ochieng’ was fatally assaulted and his body plunged into the lake whereas Okoth was stabbed with a knife in the stomach and his body likewise cast in the deep seas. The bodies are yet to be found.

Onyuka said he survived by swimming away from the attackers after being hit with crude weapons. He was rescued by fishermen who were nearby.

The pirates stole engine worth Sh225,000,  80 litres of fuel, fishing gears of unknown value and fish worth thousands of shillings.

“Our colleagues struggled to safeguard themselves from the pirates, but the attackers were prepared and armed with powerful weapons than them, leading to their death,” Odhiambo said.

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He said the attack had culminated in a serious loss to the fishing community on the island and demanded action.

Homa Bay County Deputy Police Commander Samuel Obara confirmed the incident saying operations to search for bodies of the two fishermen was going on.

“We have sent a team of investigators on the case to establish who the attackers were to ensure they are arrested for appropriate action,” said Obara.

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Lake VictoriaRingiti BeachSuba North sub-countyRukuba beachRingiti islandTanzanian Pirates