Nine killed, eight injured as 200 animals stolen in daytime attack

Muslim community in Isiolo Town converged near LMD cemetery where they prayed and later buried six bodies of herders killed by armed cattle rustlers in Burati area. [Bruno Mutunga, Standard]

Nine people were killed and eight others wounded in two separate attacks in Isiolo County.

In the first incident, about 50 raiders believed to be from two neighbouring counties attacked villages at Murhim borehole, about 12 kilometres west of Isiolo town on Friday afternoon.

According to witnesses, the raiders attacked the herders leading to fights between 11am and 4pm. The attackers crossed the Ewaso Nyiro River and after overwhelming the locals, drove away more than 200 animals, mainly goats and camels.

Isiolo County police commander Hassan Barua said the incident left nine people dead and six others wounded, two of them critically.

Those killed were yesterday buried at Livestock Marketing Division (LMD) in an emotional ceremony attended by leaders from Isiolo and Wajir counties.

Barua said two other herders were injured in Baranbate village in Garba Tula at 4pm.

‘‘All those injured are admitted at Isiolo Level 4 hospital while we have managed to recover the stolen animals. Our officers are hunting down for the criminals who carried out this heinous attack,’’ said the officer.

Those who attended the burial included area MCA Yarrow Hassan, Deputy Governor Abdi Issa, Senator Fatuma Dulo and Wajir North MP Ahmed Abdisalan. Abdisalan and Wajir senatorial aspirant Shallow Abdullahi lost their kin in the attack.

The leaders faulted the State for failing to address insecurity in Isiolo adding that all the attacks in various parts of the county are carried out by raiders from two neighbouring counties.

‘‘From Kom to Biliqo, Gotu to Kulamawe and the entire Burat and Ngaremara ward, we have been under constant attacks from our neighbours and nothing has been done so far by the authorities,’’ said Yarrow. The leaders said more than 100 people have been killed since November 2020 in three sub-counties.

They added that herders who had lost thousands of livestock to the rustlers are exposed as Isiolo National Police Reservists were disarmed five years ago while all its neighbours have the weapons given to NPR.

‘‘We will seek audience with Interior Cabinet Secretary Matiang’i and with other elected leaders and elders from Isiolo to ask why Isiolo has no NPR while her neighbours have the reservists,’’ said Abdisalan.